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Old 03-02-2013, 07:44 PM   #21
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

Originally Posted by mrspopo View Post
Melinda - I'm freaking out with the thought of 2 kids. My head is spinning at the thought of 4! I must ask though... what does a time out look like in the grocery store? We're nearly past the running away phase (she responds to the verbal "stop" command most of the time now), but I think the misbehaving in stores phase is right around the corner. I'd love to hear from someone that has BTDT.
We do timeouts wherever we are, there is no designated timeout spot where they can only be done. So if, for example, my 3-yr-old started knocking things off shelves in the grocery store, I would say as close to her ear as I can get, "Cadence, do not knock things down. One finger only". (We have a rule that you can touch anything with one finger, but no more, unless I am asking for their "help").

Then I mentally (NOT out loud) count to 10, to give her a chance to mentally connect what I said to the physical act in her hand. I don't give any more warnings/chances....That would teach her that I didn't mean it the first time. And if she continues knocking things down after I have counted to 10 in my head, I would stop the cart, crouch down and say quietly in her ear, "Cadence, I said to stop knocking things down. You did not obey me. Time out". Then we would all walk to a corner of the store and I would probably say again, "Time out, Cadence. Put your nose in the corner".

I would count to 50 or so in my head while she stood there, while distracting the other kids by talking about the other items on our list, or something similar. When she is done, I crouch down and say, "Cadence, why were you in timeout?" I want to make sure she makes the connection between the behavior and the consequence, which is why I ask her to tell me instead of just say it to her. She answers, and I say, "You must obey when I say don't knock things down. Apologize for not obeying Mommy". She does, I say thank you and I forgive you, and we go on our way. The whole ordeal takes maybe 3 minutes.

It's not always timeouts. I actually prefer natural consequences when possible. Last week, my 5-year-old was hanging on the grocery cart and making it drag and hard to push. I Told him to stop pulling on it and walk next to it nicely. I also explained why--he's old enough now to do much better if I explain my reasoning. But He continued pulling on it after I counted to 10, so I scooped him up and put him inside, and I whispered in his ear, "I told you to stop pulling on the cart and walk nicely. You didn't obey, so now you don't get to walk next to the cart. Calm down now". He had started screaming when I picked him up. If he hadn't quieted down, we would have done a timeout. But he knows I'm serious, and he calmed down (but pouted). After a few minutes, I asked him if he was ready to walk nicely again. He was, so I let him out.

I try to talk very quietly to the offender, whisper in their ear if possible. It keeps me from losing my temper, it keeps them from being humiliated, and it somehow makes a stronger impact than shouting or even talking loudly.

Last edited by Melinda29; 03-03-2013 at 05:59 AM.
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