Sunday, July 10, 2011


Simplicity is a great thing.  Right?!  I mean who doesn't want you to keep it simple?  Whether we are talking about instructions, driving directions, recipes, etc.

Well, I don't know why but I have a hard time keeping it simple with my kids.  I do really good for a while, and then I get to a point where somehow in my head it feels like, "they must not be getting it".  So I explain more, and say something else.  Eventually all that's happening is now they really DON'T get it and now are probably tuning me out.

They may be thinking..."Oh boy, here comes the long words that don't make sense.  When will she be done talking?"

Now how are they learning when all I've turned it into is them forgetting all about whatever action is even done and turned it into them thinking when can I walk away from here?

Obviously I am not helping the case when that happens.

So I need to get back on the band wagon of short and sweet responses, leaving out the details, making them think it instead of me saying it and so on.

Here's my tidbits for you on what we do, and how I need to be better at keeping it to that only!

First of all....we say "Uh Oh"  When they are in trouble.  I don't have(emphasis on have, because while I may not have to....I forget that sometimes and it just comes out) to yell, or explain what they did wrong....I just say those two little words and they walk themselves over to the time out corner.  Lately I've been adding more words than that telling them what they did wrong.  I'm going to keep it to those 2 words, and when they are done in time out, I'm going to ask them what they should do next time.  Then they are doing the thinking and talking.  Not me.

Next, like stated at the end of that statement above, I'm going to let them do the talking.  I will ask the thinking questions like, is that a good idea, or what's the rule about that, or what does the Bible say about that or What's a better way to handle that, or how should a polite person respond, etc.... something to make them think about their actions.  This way they are keeping the thinking to themselves, and not turning it on us feeling like we are to blame for their choices.

Third, an extra thing to keep the talking simple....the 1, 2, 3-Timeout sequence.  Again this reduces the talking to 3 words really.  For me anyway. :)  For instance, if they ask a question and then argue.... I say, "that's one".  If they drop it they are good to go, no one gets angry and nothing else needs to be said.  If they say some smart remark against that, I say, "That's two".    Hopefully they will learn and walk again still 'happy'. If yet one more time, that's three and that means a consequence, which in our house would be a time out. 
This obviously can be utilized in so many areas.  Not just arguing/talking back, but bad actions towards siblings, negative body language, etc.  We use this sometimes as the subtle reminder.  But sometimes after one we can go straight to three because the second comeback, or launch towards the sibling was enough to go straight to timeout.  This really stumps them.  Keeps them on their toes. :)  Yet in its simplicity keeps the words down on our end, keeping the frustrations down too. I shared what I have done, and am working on trying to do more than just talking their ear off.  You need to keep me accountable.

What quick and easy things to do you use to help stop yourself from talking too much?  Or do you not have that explanation problem with your kids like I have? :)


1 comment:

Carrie said...

OH, yes - I find myself over-explaining a LOT! :) My 3-year-old probably doesn't mean a ten minute diatribe about everything either! :) I love the 1-2-3- Consequence rule - Z has reeeealy been talking back lately, and I have been using the verse, "Do everything without complaining and arguing" constantly - but I like the "that's one" & so on - great idea! :)

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