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DH says "you're going to be in trouble"

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm reading UP and we have been GDing since we had our 1st...learning as we go of course. But, there is one habit I can't get my DH to break. When we are having difficulty getting DD (3 years) to stop whatever behavior she needs to stop, DH finally says "If you don't stop this right now, you are going to be in big trouble." Except that it's a totally empty threat. We occasionally use timeouts (but we really don't want to), but other than that we have never used any punishment. We both yell too much, but that is something that we both have to work on - years of abuse we have to overcome. Anyway, my DH understand why he shouldn't say that...but in the moment, I think it just comes out because that's what he was told. Can anyone help me with a good phrase he can replace that with...or something concrete to do instead.
post #2 of 6
"Hey. I need your attention right now."
post #3 of 6
getting my 4 yo ds to cooperate is a major challenge. i got some good tips from reading the book "How to talk so kids will listen". i recommend checking it out if you can.
post #4 of 6
My DH says the exact same thing. DS has no idea what it means, but he'll say to me, "I no touch that. BIG trouble!" I cringe.

When DS isn't listening to me, I ask him if he has his listening ears on, and he'll stop what he's doing and show me his ears. It's beginning to get a little old for him, and it's not as immediately effective as it was at first, but I figure it's a start. I'll just have to come up with something new to say to keep the novelty there.
post #5 of 6
I think that this is something that you should consider letting go of if it is annoying but not causing any problems. If you can get him to say it with a joke in his tone it could be used as a playful parenting thing. My dd thinks that trouble is me telling her that I don't like what she is doing with a firm voice and my eyebrows up. That and a conversation about choices are my main parenting tools. So to me a child thinking that they are going to be in trouble really isn't a big deal, especially when you look at what the trouble will actually be.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by flower01 View Post
Can anyone help me with a good phrase he can replace that with...or something concrete to do instead.
Seems to me you both are on the right track.

You might like to bare in mind that
  • often children are too busy to pay attention to us lower mortals
  • many (most?) 4 y/o are neurologically impaired when it comes to following verbal instructions without the adult really "linking" with them
  • once you have their attention, they are usually willing to listen, but it is useful if it is relevant to them
  • it is easier for small children to pay attention in the future if the experience of doing so the last time was not unpleasant.
  • for those that think that the prospect of a punishment will make a child focus, think again. It is more likely to create a mindset of inflexible stonewalling, waiting for the "bad thing" to go away.

The main solutions for me are
  • to save the verbals for when the child is already really focused on you, or else you get tuned out.
  • avoid "calling" to get their attention just yet... (that works from 6) because you are using up your "attention credits"!
  • You have to get right up to them, physically, and look them in the eye. Or blow a fat raspberry on their tummy, whatever works for you.
  • make sure that half your "initialisation of communications" are for goodies or micro-treats: (apple slices, a cherry with a blob of icing, mini cake (1/2 inch square popped in mouth), spoonful of yoghurt, or whatever you use in your house. This makes paying attention worth it for child. ;-)
  • 4 looks old enough to follow instructions. It isn't. You will need to be prepared to do it with the child, standing next to them if needed.

I started with a lot of treats and when I had a treat ready, my "initialisation of communications" call was '(child's name).... are you busy?'

And they'd be right there!

got to rush off

good luck.

PS, if you don't get the result you want, or the child does not co-operate, you have not worked it out yet. But please don't get frustrated with the child!
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