Thursday, May 05, 2011

There's No Such Thing as Bad Liimu

Last week, I talked about the problems we've been having with the behavior of our three girls in reaction to their new little brother coming on the scene. Fortunately, they confessed to us that they were jealous of the new baby and looking for attention any way they could get it. Just like the phrase there's no such thing as bad publicity, my girls figured even negative attention was better than none at all.

After talking to a friend of mine, she helped me to realize that we were reinforcing their behavior by yelling at them, so we should just...stop. Stop yelling. Completely. What a concept. Instead, it was suggested that we just give them consequences for bad behavior. No yelling, no negotiating, straight consequences. Whoa.

Here's the crazy worked! Not only did it bring their behavior into line, it also completely turned around the energy in our house. No more headaches for me and their dad. No more walking on egg shells for the girls. I like to think they've even stopped yelling at each other as much as they were before.

It's pretty tough to keep it up (their dad and I have even gotten a strike here and there for accidentally yelling), but it's definitely worth working on. So, thanks to those of you who gave me your feedback or advice. And I hope that those of you who stayed silent did so because all is well in your households. If not, I hope our experience will be of use to even just one person out there. It may sound counterintuitive (at least it did to me), but staying calm, cool and collected in the face of sassy toddlers or preteens may just be the key to diffusing an otherwise volatile situation.

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Blogger Von said...

Yelling rarely works, glad you discovered! Hope peace reigns.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Cara Meyers said...

I have ALWAYS used consequences. They always have worked for my power struggle type child, and so far they continue to work!

4:56 PM  

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