Sunday, January 5, 2014

Using Words to Workout Your Baby Issues

If you are an absolute believer in spanking your kid, you may not agree with this blog and that's ok. I can clearly remember that one time I spanked my daughter and she cried so much that I was deeply saddened. So much so that I cried. Then, I decided that I was going to do something different with my kids. I was going to use my words and teach them to be better kids. Love them. Hug them. Make them feel safe. My words are powerful enough. We will talk about the "look" in another blog. *Wink

My Blog...

It was a great week with my sister's kids. Her little one was having a hard time getting along with his brother. I sat with them to find out what was going on and I observed their interactions. The little one likes to get his way. The bigger one intervenes when his brother is "making poor choices." I decided that a week is too long to have continued conflict, so I wanted to see if the strategies I used to work magic for my girls still worked if used consistently.

The baby loves to get his way and bite his older brother when his desires are not immediately met. I had heard that his brother "picks on" him... but I didn't find that to be the case most of the time. For example, last night when the baby was trying to smash a hotel glass into the desk, his brother gently took the glass out of his hand and told him not to do that. This is a trick that I taught him. (Be nice to the baby and always look like you are in the right.)

The baby was mad! He grabbed his brother's arm with his nails and tried to bite him on his arm. His brother acted like it really hurt him and he pretended to cry. (Another trick to get the baby to stop what they are doing and to bring understanding that his actions are causing pain.) He told his brother to "stop" and pulled his arm away. I went into action. I picked up the baby. We had a little chat. I wanted to redirect his anger. The conversation went like this:

Me: Are you ok big brother?
Big Brother: No the baby scratched me and tried to bite my arm. He was trying to break the glass on the desk.
Baby: Crying
Me to the Big Brother: I am sorry that you were hurt. (I rubbed his arm and gave him a hug.)
Me to the Baby: You know that you cannot bang the glass. It can break.
Baby: Shook his head. Still crying.
Me: You hurt your brother. You are not allowed to bite him. Tell him you are sorry.
Baby: Soooree
Me: (I hug the baby and hold him in my arms.) You are a good boy and good boys are nice.
Baby: Not crying so much.
Me: Say that you are a good boy.
Baby: Me Good.
Me: Ok, kiss your brother.
Baby: Kisses brother. Then, they play.

Problem solved.

What! That is it? Of course, it takes time. Consistency is the key! We had been doing this for a week.

It makes more sense then:
1. You hit your brother.
2. I hit you.
3. I tell you that hitting isn't allow or it's bad.
4. Confused kid... What do you mean hitting is bad, didn't you just hit me? And that's where the problem comes in with using hitting to redirect instead of fixing the problem in a positive way.

I am not saying that my way is perfect! But, it worked perfectly for me and my girls. Now, it has worked for these boys. If you have any tips to assist others struggling with redirecting this behavior or want to comment on this blog, please comment below.

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