It’s Not What You Say

Thank you, everyone who commented on THE Meltdown post, it’s all been very helpful as we rethink discipline in our home.  There has been some progress made with Ella.  I think that meltdown was partially contributed to a lack of sleep the night before (not to excuse it away) but we realize that making sure our kids are well rested and well fed are just as important in the discipline process because it can reduce unnecessary stress and breakdowns.  We’ve also learned that responding in a very calm voice is most effective with her.  If we get angry and that comes out in our voice, she is most certainly not able to sit there and look us in the eyes.  Like many of you have pointed out, each kid has their own personality and feelings that need to be honored.  Certain methods will work with one kid and not the other.  We have also gotten more savvy at determining what her ‘currency’ is in each particular moment which has helped us deal with any unruly attitudes that spring up.

So, one of the things we’ve been stressing with Ella is the importance of using kind words, speaking in a good tone, and not yelling at mommy or daddy.  When she starts up with that whiny request or gets snappy with one of us, we will sometimes respond with, ‘You don’t talk to daddy like that.’  And ask her how she is supposed to talk, and say please, and not be mean when she says it.

Well, the other day I don’t even know what it was, but Erica told Ella to do something and she yelled in her meanest tone, “Don’t talk to me like that!”  Shocked at the attitude, Erica calmly reminded Ella that she needs to talk kind.  And without missing a beat Ella responded in her sweetest, softest, sing-songy voice and said very kindly, “Don’t talk to me like that…”  It’s hard to hold back the laughter when they do stuff like this!  At least she said it kindly, I guess! Progress is progress, right?