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Paddling with No Creek in Sight

I am definitely not here to tell you how to raise your child. Goodness knows I’m flying by the seat of my pants most days; but how to keep order in a house full of children is a topic that comes up periodically around the drunch table. And it’s definitely one where I’ve gone both ways. Most of my girlfriends agree that if Junior seems to have a death wish (i.e. always making a bee-line for the deep end of the pool or ¬†refusing to hold hands in the parking lot then running between parked cars), we feel compelled to ramp up the punishment accordingly. But I’ve been reminded lately that — at least for me — it needs to stay in my “Last Resort” folder. I stumbled across this article recently¬†10 Reasons to Not Spank Your Child – Dr. Michele Borba’s Parenting Solutions : Blogs at iVillage.com and decided to really make a point of providing guidelines for the kind of behavior I do want to see rather than simply focusing on all the things I do not want to see ever again.

It wasn’t long before I had my first chance. When one of his brothers got to “help” mom with a task that Jack wanted to do (I think it was shutting the dryer door — a mind-blowingly exciting task around here), Jack had a major come apart. Rather than sending him to time out and forgetting about him until he wandered back in (Oh…I’m sorry! Do you have triplet toddlers? No? Then put those stones back in your pocket.), I actually made a point to sit down with him and talk through two or three different ways he could have handled the situation — one of which was waiting for his brother to do the task, then asking to do it again himself. I don’t know about you, but I’ll happily let them open and shut the dryer door all day long if it staves off a crying jag. That’s just how I roll.

Well…later today we had an identical situation with one of his other brothers. Jack. started to squawk, then caught himself and calmly acted out what we’d talked about earlier. We were both elated and happily high-fived each other over his having remembered a good behavior. Not rocket science, I know, but when you have more than one child, it’s a tougher trick than it seems.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s worked for you. Did you think I was kidding when I said I’m flying by the seat of my pants? Leave a comment and help a sister out!

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Supernanny – The Drunch linked to this post on September 16, 2009

    [...] already mentioned my desire to step away from spanking except in situations that threaten safety, so I’m hoping these tweaks will help us get [...]



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