July 31, 2007

Parenting Tip A La Gayle


If Discipline isn’t working, try positive reinforcement.

We have a 3 year old that will not stay in his bed at night. We’ve tried our normal techiniques; spanking, sitting outside his bedroom door until he falls asleep, yelling (not proud of that one) you name it.

So, one night I decided to try the opposite approach. In my most excited voice I told him exactly what I expected of him and that I knew he was going to stay in his bed because he was such a good boy. I also told him that I would be back in 5 minutes to make sure he was still in his bed. All in a sickeningly sweet and exciting voice. It almost made me puke at how “cheerleader-y” I was acting.

I didn’t want to set him up for failure so I came back in just a few minutes and praised him tremendously for staying in his bed. I told him I would check back again in another five minutes and yep, he was still in bed. He loved pleasing me and seeing me all excited. I did it a few more times and whaddya know? The kid was asleep within 30 minutes.

SCORE!

Now that’s not always the case. Sometimes we have to go back through this process again, just as a refresher course. But in this situation it wasn’t the discipline that worked, it was placing the expectation before him and then setting him up for successes rather than failures.

Go visit the other Works For Me Wednesday tips for more parenting
ideas.

16 comments:

Rebecca said...

That's pretty cute!

Joyful Days said...

Nicely done. No matter how much you felt like a cheerleader--and you were--you were his cheerleader.

Great advice

EE said...

Do you think this would work for an 8 year old?????

Pmom said...

I have been having such a hard time with my little guy. I'd be thrilled if this would work with him. I'll try it.

Tamara Cosby said...

Well you know I am going to try this!!!!

Rochelle said...

Oh. I am a BIG fan of positive reinforcement! I need to use it more often because it works!! (Of course there are just those times when a simple smack on the hind side is appropriate! :) But good for you!!!

Rachelle said...

I'm taking this one to heart. We've been fighting with our three year old since birth, but we haven't tried this approach. Thanks for the tip!

kittyhox said...

Great advice. I'm going to start with this option because it sounds like a lot more fun than traditional discipline!

(My son is only 14 months so I don't have much opportunity for it yet.)

Besides, I was a cheerleader for a couple of years so it will be great to use those skills in real life. Ha ha...

Ang said...

There is a time and place for discipline, but reinforcing the positive is so much more...well, positive! I know I would much rather be encouraged and have someone expecting me to succeed than waiting until I mess up and getting on to me. Oh, if only I could remember this more often!

Great tip!

The Estrogen Files said...

Great tip! My 3 yr old goes to bed okay, but comes to my bed around 3 am. We're working on it and will give your ideas a try!

My WFMW is Sun Safety.

Cindy said...

Just wanted to give my friend a little positive reinforcement...

Great job, Gayle! Fabulous idea! You really thought of a great one! I knew you could do it! He has the best mom ever! You are brilliant! I'll check back next week to see how you're doing!

You should put on your cheerleader outfit next time. I bet Chris would like that. ;)

So true about being able to catch more flies with honey, eh? Those little hearts just need the right tender molding. I forget that sometimes.

Candace said...

That's such a good idea! Positive reinforcement works really well with my kids too.

Caroline said...

Great post - but they always are - glad you found something pleasant that worked so well. Don't you hate being the meanie!

nsremom said...

Just commenting on Cindy's comment.

Isn't she hilarious? LOLOLOL.

Heartmatters said...

Nice job with the bed training! Just keep doing great like you are! I'll be remembering that when our 2 yo gets out of his crib and into a toddler bed...anyday now!

mummymac said...

Thanks for the reminder that while a spank is sometimes need it isn't always necessary.

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