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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! My name is Ann, and I am new to this board (but not to MDC).

I have 12-yr-old identical twin boys. DH and I have been practicing gd their whole lives, and it WORKS! Not only are they polite, respectful, and conscientious, they still enjoy hanging out with Mom and Dad!

One of the most important things we learned through this process is that young children do not have a concept of the words No and Don't. My sons were about 2-1/2 when we witnessed a classic example of this phenomenon.

We were visiting my parents, and the boys were "helping" my mom plant flowers. As she dug in the dirt she found earthworms, so she gave each of the boys a worm to play with. First J came into the kitchen and said "Look grandpa! My got a worm!" My Dad exclaimed over what a nice worm it was, much to J's delight, then said "Don't eat the worm!"

We could just see the wheels turning in J's head! He stared at the worm with a disgusted look on his face, then curiosity. One could almost see him thinking "...eat the worm... eat the worm... Grandpa said eat the worm..." At that point he took his worm back outside.

Next B came in with his worm, and we had an almost perfect instant replay of the entire scene, right down to the puzzled look on his face. Then he too went back outside with his worm.

A few minutes later we heard my Mom laughing in the garden, and we went out to investigate. Both boys had dirt around their mouths. James had apparently tried his worm and spit it back out; when we asked B what happened to his worm he proudly announced "My ate it!"

So instead of "don't" commands, we gave "do" commands. Pet the dog gently, sit on your bottom, feet on the floor, that's just to look at, etc worked much better than Don't hit the dog, Don't stand on the chair, Don't touch the plant.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
I have 12-yr-old identical twin boys. DH and I have been practicing gd their whole lives, and it WORKS! Not only are they polite, respectful, and conscientious, they still enjoy hanging out with Mom and Dad!
That's awesome! My ds is 2.5, and it's nice to hear great stories like that.

That worm story- that's a classic!
 

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Ann,
I've had a very trying day with my 21 month old .... and its not even 1:00 yet. I TOTALLY needed to read your exact post. Not only did the worm story make me smile, but it totally helps to put Nic's behavior in another light! ..and, it reminds me that I've said No/Dont all day today and very little yes (we're cooped up inside cause its snowing and i think he's getting a cold)

THANKS for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So many people lament "the terrible twos", but I always thought of this as the Age of Frustration. A toddler understands what is said, but can't make himself understood; he wants to run fast, but doesn't have quite enough large motor control; he wants to do what he sees others do, but doesn't have the fine motor control. Who wouldn't be frustrated?

The beauty of using positive commands instead of Don't commands is that not only is the child more likely to follow instructions (most kids ARE willing to please at this age), but as soon as they DO what they are asked, the response can be reinforced with praise, and sometimes and explanation of WHY you want them to do something (or not do something).

Me: James, pet the dog gently! (as he's pulling the dog's ear)
James pets gently.
Me: Good job! See how much the dog likes to be petted this way? What else does the dog like?

When our twins went through a biting stage (at the same time!) we could sometimes divert a bite with "Give kisses!" We didn't always succeed in turning a bite into a kiss, but it was sure worth a try.
 
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