So my kids have listening issues. Kind of like the vikings from How to Train Your Dragon on with less self sufficiency. My own yelling at them in return for this misbehavior has created, yeah, you guessed it, more yelling. And a whole lot less discipline than I’d like.
So the other day, I had kind of an a ha moment. I put my four year old at parade rest. For those of you not familiar with the military, I made her stand still, put her hands in the small of her back and spread her feet should width apart. Then came the hard part: I made her look at me while I gave her instructions.
It took about five times as long as it would have had I just yelled. I had to make her repeat this process about six times before she actually did what she was told. But, and here’s where I think it might be worth while to continue this little experiment. So far, I’ve decided that their corrective training will last 1 minute for each year of age, something similar to time out guidelines. They think its fun til they get to the last minute of Front, Back, Goes where I make them do push ups for fifteen seconds, followed by holding their head arms and legs off the ground followed by running in place.
This might seem a little extreme but honestly, they’re paying attention to me this weekend. They’re not ignoring me and even my little one, who sometimes seems to have static in her head seems to be listening better. She’s able to repeat back to me what I want her to do and she’s doing things a little better on her own.
So maybe this is taking the Army home a little too much but you know what? If it works and they start thinking about consequences for their actions. And you know, if it keeps me from yelling, then it’s a good thing.
I’ll let you know how this works out.