Monday, January 10, 2011

Threats, reminding, and Warnings

In L&L, Jim teaches that consequences need to come just as they would in the real world. That in the real world we do not get warnings and reminders, so we act accordingly. For instance; when DS2 is getting into the fridge all day long, my response is often "stay out of the fridge." Followed by an exacerbated "GET OUT OF THE FRIDGE!" Then after about the fourth time, I march over, with the green spew I talked about before coming out of my eyes, and I slam the fridge shut, grab him by the arm and march him down to his room (which is in the basement which doesn't have a door), for time out. He of course is up point three seconds later, and the battle of staying in his room for timeout begins, until I give up because I can't make him stay.

What should happen is that the first time he gets into the fridge I say "ut oh, looks like you are having little bit of trouble remembering the rules in our house. I'm going to let you have time in your room to think about it." And take him to his room (which would have a door with the lock on the outside, so he can not get out). He would scream and throw a fit for a minute, then I would start the time, unlock the door and tell him he can come out when the timer goes off.
The problem here is that 1. his room doesn't have a door right now, 2. I am often feeding DS3, and can't get up to do this, or 3. I get frustrated that I have to go over this with him ALL the time. I forget that he is three and that I am going to have to continually work with him. I forget that he is testing me, and when I get angry I am failing miserably!

As I sit and write this tonight, DS2 is supposed to be in bed, but keeps coming up. We keep telling him to go to bed, and are getting frustrated with him. I finally went down with him and said "if you come up again, you will not be going to playgroup tomorrow" I then walked up the stairs and thought 'oh crap, I am not supposed to warn him!' See, it is so much more effective if they don't KNOW what the consequence is going to be.

I find myself always reminding DS1 when he is supposed to be doing a chore. He gets distracted so easy, and I am constantly keeping him on task, and getting frustrated while doing it. I am so glad that now I can learn to just let it go, and allow the consequences to come. What sucks, is delivering the consequences!


  1. I like that about no warnings. If it works the first time, I can see that it might curb future disobedience. Unfortunately I don't follow through very well, so that is something I have to work on. Good advice, friend!

  2. Darn it...I was gonna beat Caradon...but I was too sweaty after Zumba and HAD to take a shower!! Anyways...this is a good post. I've watched you the last few times we're together...and you're doing a good job at not doing warning after warning though...and you keep your cool. I don't know how you do it?? Just today I was freaking out at Klous...and I know I need to just calm down and thank you for your example and advice. I need to do better...and hopefully the kids will realize they don't get tons of warnings...just have to deal with the consequences!?!?! Thanks for the post!!