Friday, June 10, 2011

The Discipline Weekly: One Word Fix-Its

This week it's been hot in New York City. Really hot.

And when it's hot, I can get frustrated easily. Really easily. But I tried not to let the heat get the best of me and my lack of patience this week.

How? With one word discipline strategies.

Aiden likes to run down the streets of NYC ahead of me. Sometimes way ahead of me. And he gets so caught up in running that he forgets to stop before he reaches the corner. I don't like that one bit. But instead of yelling, "didn't I tell you to stop before you get to the corner?," I say one word long before he gets to the corner: freeze! He loves it and thinks we're playing a game. It's a win-win situation for the both of us.

Aiden loves to ride his scooter all around the house. From the bedroom to the living room to the balcony to the kitchen, he's just a little scooting machine. But the rule is that when he is finished scooting, he has to put his scooter back where it belongs. Usually he's really good with remembering, but this week, eh, not so much. So instead of being annoyed and driving the both of us crazy, I've simply been saying, "scooter!" and he proceeds to return his scooter to its rightful place.

I'm training Aiden to flush the toilet when he is finished doing his business. Yes, I expect my 3-year-old to flush every time he uses the bathroom. I don't think it's asking to much from him. But he forgets sometimes. And when he does, I simply say, "toilet!" after which he proceeds to flush.

Try it out. I've found that it certainly beats saying, "How many times do I have to tell you _______?" or "Didn't I tell you not to ______?" or "Don't you listen to me when I speak?"

One word. That's all.

Try not to overdo it too much though because it can quickly turn into nagging. And nobody likes a nagger.


  1. Excellent strategies! I'm going to try the "freeze" thing because we're experiencing the same problems with Peanut running ahead...I think she would enjoy!!

  2. I wish I could do this with my boyfriend. Like "remote" when I want to watch a show that I like or "pitcher" when he is puts the empty water container back in the fridge. Maybe I can use "freeze" for everything. I've got to work on that, cuz I'm on the road to nag-ville.


  3. This is a great idea! ^^^LOL at the above comment, I'm sure it would be great if it can be used on adults too!

  4. AH yes, I do like the one-word command... my kids used to be so good at flushing... it's a skill we seem to have lost lately!

  5. I love freeze!!!! Will totally be trying this one out. He already loves the word, due to the Fresh Beat Band, so I think this just may work.

  6. You make such a great point. I think we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we're being better parents by talk, talk, talking through every little thing. We forget that those little brains probably have the abilty to catch and process only a word or two. Might as well make it the important one!

  7. Great tips!!! especially the Toilet! one hehehe

  8. These are great! I need to start trying them with Harlan.

  9. TOTALLY using that freeze thing! Lord knows we need it in this house! :)

  10. i love this.. particularly "freeze".. boy do i wish we could use this on adults as well..

  11. That's GENIUS Alicia! Reading the comments, I see I'm not the only one who wished one word could work with men! :D

  12. Where were you when KT was Aiden's age :) Creative strategies and it keeps you from losing it.

  13. Crazy that its hotter over there and not here.... =(

  14. Going to try this with Moo. And I will try not to turn into the nagging mama. LOL

  15. Great tips I've mastered the one word commands and the sound effect controls with boys you don't have much time to bring 'em back lol

  16. I love the simplicity of this tactic mainly because I think my little rebel will respond better, plus I am starting to hate the sound of my voice as I repeat commands seventy billion times


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