Yesterday’s discussion about proactive parenting brought up some good questions!

One question came from Tawnda who asked what to do with a whiny 3 year old. Here’s one suggestion we used when our kids were little:

Pretend not to hear her when she whines. In fact, to train her to this, you can play a game with her. Ask her to ask you for a drink with a whiny voice. Then ask her to ask you for a drink in a nice, not whiny, voice. Do that several times so she knows how to go between the two voices. Then tell her that from now on you will not be able to hear her when she talks in a whiny voice. You can only hear her when she says something nicely.  You will have trained her to go between the two voices so she will know how to do it when she needs to do it in the future.  When we train our kids with this kind of “fun” it helps them to know how to do what we need them to do in the future.

The other question I thought we’d tackle today is from Shelley who asked, “What consequences can we employ? Five kids and fifteen years of parenting, and i’m outta ideas!”

I thought we’d take today to help Shelley, and each other, out!  We are creative moms and if we put our heads together, I bet we can come up with a list of consequences for us to consider using with our kids.

I’ll start the list and then I need you to add to it throughout the day.  Tomorrow evening I’ll actually update this post with a complete list of all the suggestions that have been shared so we all have a list of creative ways to correct our kids when needed.

Let me say first, that discipline is not a one-size-fits-all topic.  Every kid is different so we have to tailor the consequences to the child.  I’ll start us with a few we’ve found helpful with one or more of our kids.

1. Lose a privilege.
2. Do an extra chore or job around the house.
3. Lose something special for a short amount of time (i.e. favorite stuffed animal or doll)
4. Lose the privilege of speaking (for disrespectful words spoken by older elementary thru teen)
5. Lose chair at mealtime (if they can’t keep all four legs on the ground.)
6. Allow natural consequences to run their course (not step in and try to make it easier on the child if they get in trouble at school or do poorly on a test because they didn’t study.)
7. Lose phone privileges (house phone or cell phone, depending on age)
8. (You’re next!!!!)

Let me also share about a great resource on this topic.  Lisa Whelchel wrote a great book on this topic. It’s called Creative Correction. I want to share some wisdom from her book that all of us need to remember:

Effective correction involves more than simply using the right tools.  You may own a shiny, new Sears Master Craftsman Deluxe triple0decker toolbox filled with the finest Snap-On tools, but there will still be times you need to call in a professional.  In other words, even though you may know the best correction methods in the world, sometimes you’ll need the guidance of an expert.   Well, have I got an expert for you: Jesus!

Fortunately, His Assistant, the Holy Spirit, is on call 24 hours a day (see John 14:26).  Many times when I’m experiencing a crisis with one of my kids and don’t know what tool to use, I ask the Holy Spirit.  Usually within minutes, He gives me an idea.  What’s so ironic is that often the solution was right in front of me, but I wasn’t sure whether I really had the expertise to fix the problem.

What a great reminder for all of us!  This list will be very helpful for us, but we have an expert we can consult any time of the day!  God longs for us to turn to him for wisdom.

So what about you?  What methods of creative correction do you have to share with other moms?

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