Are You a Remote Control Mom?

14 Jan

If this story sounds like your life yesterday, last week, (and hey…, is someone watching me), then you may be a remote control Mom.

It starts like this, Sweetie, don’t do (that) ______________ . (insert one of the following here…jump on the couch, run with those scissors, cut your sister’s hair, I know your kids are creative so you should have lots of options)

I said, don’t do that Sweetie. (laughter)

Stop that right now. (loud laughter and shrill screams, load crash)

I said stop that. (the laughter gets louder, the screams get shriller)

DON’T DO THAT. (running)

DO YOU WANT TO GO TO TIME OUT! (crashing noise, and crying)

THAT IS IT!   YOU GO TO YOUR ROOM AND NO TV FOR WEEK!  (fit ensues as the child is escorted to their room)

You are worn out, tired of fighting, feeling guilty because you love your kids, but you really do not like them right now, and those feelings are getting closer and closer together.

You are not alone.  This is like a video that plays at that almost everyone’s  home at least once and will play out again and again if they do not find a tool to use to change the channel.

What could that be, you say.  I have tried everything from being nice to punishment, to bribes and nothing seems to work.

A simple tool to change the channel of this kind of behavior is what I call putting down the remote control.  What this looks like is this.

Sweetie don’t so that (inset behavior here) ______________. (laughter)

Get up (don’t try to interact by remote control) and calmly go to the child, get down so you are on eye level with them and repeat your request. (turning away, squirming)

Please, look at me. ( more turning away, more squirming) This may have to be repeated a few times at first.

I am not angry, I just want to talk to you.  (they relax a little and look at you)

I love you no matter what, I will always love you, but I do not like it when you choose to ______________( insert your choice here… jump on the couch, climb up the shelves, paint the cat)  because you might get hurt and that would make me so sad. (they think about it, look confused and then and nod yes).

It will take a few times to practice this to allow it to become a calm and natural reaction but if you stand lovingly firm in consistently applying this tool you may find that a gentle reminder will become all you need to help your kids choose good behaviors.

We all want our kids to be happy and I believe that we, like our parents before us, do the best we can with the tools that we have at the time.

So if this sounds like your life, give this a try.  Something different might happen when you when you put down the remote control.  Let me know what happens.  I would love to hear your stories.

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