How to make children mind; How to make children behave; How to improve behavior; Whatever you call it, I’ve discovered how to make it happen, and I want to share it with you.
A lady was shopping at a grocery store and couldn’t help but notice a young mother and her little girl, who was about two years old. The little girl was crying loudly as she sat in the child seat in the shopping cart, but the mother seemed remarkably composed under the pressure. As the lady passed the mother in the isle, she heard the mother calmly say, “It’s okay, Patty, we’re going to be out of here pretty soon and then we can go home.”
The little girl’s crying did not stop. When the lady passed the mother in another aisle, she heard the mother say, “Calm down Patty. We’re almost done and then we can go.”
As luck would have it, the lady found herself behind the mother at the checkout stand, her child still screaming. She overheard the mother say, “Look Patty, all we have to do is pay for our groceries and we’re out of here, won’t that be nice?”
The lady, impressed with the mother’s self-control, couldn’t help but comment to the mother, “I must say, I am impressed at how well you are handling your daughter Patty’s tantrum.” “Oh, thank you,” said the mother, “But my daughter’s name is Jennifer. I’m Patty.”
What Not to Say
This little story reminds me of the many times I’ve seen children misbehave at the supermarket (and other public places) and how parents mishandle their misbehavior. Have you ever heard someone say to a child:
“I’m so sick and tired of you acting like this.”
“You’re driving me crazy.”
“Aren’t you ever going to learn to behave?”
“Why did you hit your sister?”
“I’m going to count to three…”
“If you do that one more time, I’m going to put you in timeout!”
“If you do that one more time, I’m going to put you in timeout – and I mean it this time!”
“Okay, stop crying. You can have the candy.”
“Go to your room and don’t come out ’till Thursday.”
Come on. Tell me you haven’t used some of those “discipline techniques”. I know I have. I’ve used them all. Funny… they never got me the long-term result I was shooting for – and I doubt they do for anyone else.
Out of desperation I sought advice: I read books, experimented with discipline techniques, made mistakes, gave up trying, resumed trying, and eventually… I became a perfect mom.
Just kidding. Not so perfect, but not so crazy either. What makes me crazy now, is to watch other parents, babysitters, and child care givers mishandle children’s misbehavior, when I know there’s a better way. I want to scream at them, “There’s a better way – and it’s actually pretty simple!”
You see, it has to be simple for me. And it has to be simple for me to share. Which is why I’m writing this post – to let you know there is a way to inspire good behavior; a way that will make children WANT to behave – the problem is, it’s so simple you will doubt it works. But it does.
How to Inspire Good Behavior
I want to leave you parents and babysitters with something I’ve learned that has helped me inspire good behavior among my six children (and my husband). This will work on your own children or on the children you babysit.
This discussion is continued in my eBook in the chapter called “What Not to Do”.