Thursday, December 31, 2009

Don't kick the pink elephant!

What image do you have in your mind right now? Someone kicking a pink elephant perhaps? I don't remember where I read about this phrase but it relates to our children's behavior and it is something that I'm always trying to stay focused on.

The whole idea is we, as parents, tend to spend too much time telling our kids what not to do. When we tell our kids "don't kick the pink elephant" that actually puts that idea into their heads and all they want to do now is kick the pink elephant. I've actually witnessed this first hand when I was in a bathroom stall with Owen awhile back. No sooner did the words "Don't touch the trash can" leave my mouth that Owen's hands reached for the trash can. Instead of telling Owen what he shouldn't do, it would have been better for me to tell him what he could do. For example, "Owen, put your hands in your pockets until Mommy is done". This way what I'm telling him what to do are the ideas going into his head not the ideas of what I don't want him to do.

This ties into focusing on the positive of their behavior and not focusing on the behavior we don't want, which is my goal for this month. I'm going to try to focus on telling my kids the behavior I want to see, not to focus on the bad behavior I may be seeing. This doesn't mean that I dismiss the bad behavior, but by choosing my words wisely, I can still tell my children what they did was wrong by telling them what they should do that is right.

The other part of all of this that I'm working on this month is teaching the moral reason why to Owen. (It is said that under of age 3 you need to be directive in your instructions/commands and that you start moral reason why once your child reaches 3 and older). Without teaching moral reason why, it prevents your child from truly apply what he is learning to different scenarios.

What are some of your goals for the month?

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