For the most part, I have been pretty blessed with Jaxsyn and Adelaide. They have both been very laid back, sweet, and just easy to take care of kids.
Well these past few months have been months of pushing boundaries and discovering limits. As a busy mom who works from home, I don’t always have the patience to deal with kids who want to push boundaries.
I’ve been thinking of new ways to discipline without losing my temper or getting frustrated (i.e. having to repeat myself, dealing with small attention spans). But I wanted it to be quick too. I don’t want a lot of steps or explainations. I just wanted him to understand what his boundaries were and understand what behavior leads to certain consequences.
And I have found just that. The Stoplight. (Cue superhero music)
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. We’ve been using it for a couple of days and it is perfect. He is behaving better. He is more conscious of his actions and he is starting to really understand actions and consequences. I don’t have to spend time getting upset. I simply walk over and place his name on the next light and bam. Attitude changes. And he becomes aware.
Now I know teachers have been using this idea for years. I know because I had it while I was a kid in school, but I have revamped it just a little bit. So all day long we go from light to light or if we’re good we stay on the same light for a long time and at the end of the day, depending on where you landed for the night, decides the next step.
If you are on Green you get to pick from the ‘Treats’ bag. I just wrote down a couple of ideas on paper and placed them in a baggie for Jaxsyn to draw from. I have things like sweet treats, stay up 30 minutes later, sleepover in mom and dad’s room, no clean up duties, favorite dinner, etc.
If you are on Yellow you don’t get to do anything.
And if you are on Red you get to pick from the ‘Bummer’ Bag. Just like the treats I wrote down punishments that are age appropriate for Jaxsyn. Things such as going to bed early, losing his phone, TV, or Xbox, Mom’s Choice, Dad’s Choice, etc.
I wanted Jaxsyn to feel a part of the whole entire process of his behavior. I wanted him to have something to look forward to if he was good and something to remind him to be good. And again, I wanted to do this without yelling, or getting angry, or any crying. And so far, so good. He enjoys the reward, he accepts the punishment, and I may have found a way to make this parenting thing a little easier.
Do you have any great parenting tips? I’d love to hear them!