Over the past few months, I have had several conversations with a dear friend of mine who has been struggling in the raising of her son. Her girls are obedient but with the normal challenges. He is one of those spirited-blessings that wears out the strongest of moms. One word kept coming up in our conversations – train. I learned with Bubs that there are things that some kids don’t instinctively know. Because of this, discipline won’t fix the problem. Training will.
This will seem silly but Bubs and I spent time practicing pulling up his covers. He would wake up in the middle of the night feeling cold. Then he would scream out, losing control, and cause a lack of sleep for all involved. So, he and I laid in his bed during the day practicing pulling up the covers. It didn’t take long before he was no longer having this issue at night.
Here’s another one…Bubs has major volume and eye-contact issues. We practice using the proper voice in restaurants when we aren’t in restaurants. We practice looking people in the eyes at home or right before Bubs has a conversation so he is prepared.
Some of this training is ongoing. We still work with Bubs on staying-in-control issues. He and I talk about acceptable ways to gain control – breathe, jump on the trampoline, read, etc. – so that when a situation arises they are on the forefront of his mind.
Notice that of the above scenarios, none of this training is done in the moment. All of the training is done when everyone is calm and the situation is controlled. Training can not occur when everyone is upset and frustrated.
So, think of a problem that you are struggling with right now. Is this something that you can train with practice, role playing, or create a scenario with stuffed animals?
A little twist on training? Sometimes my kiddos have problems slamming doors. Natural consequence? They practice opening and shutting the door 20 times without making sound. Suddenly slamming isn’t as much fun.
What behavior are you needing to train?