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  • Turn Common Discipline Problems into Games

    I wish I could be this creative – second best is getting the ideas from others! This Parents article has six creative ways to tackle common discipline problems:

    • Problem behavior: Not listening. Solution: Crank up the music and play “freeze.” You child will get used to stopping on command.
    • Problem behavior: Not sharing. Solution: Sit family members in a circle and practice taking turns with an undesirable item like a rolled-up sock. Everyone should hold the item more than once to emphasize “turns.”
    • Problem behavior: Ransacking cabinets and drawers. Solution: Take a tour of the house and say with exaggerated gravity “Not for Alex!” or “For Alex!” depending on whether the area is off-limits. This also works well at hotels and friends’ houses.
    • Problem behavior: Breaking delicate items. Solution: Use the “E.T.” touch (as in the alien from the movie with his one pointy finger).
    • Problem behavior: Not receiving gifts graciously. Solution: Practice ahead of time by wrapping undesirable items, opening them, and coming up with something nice to say about each one.
    • Problem behavior: Inappropriate sillies. Solution: “Pocket” the sillies before entering a serious place.

    This post is dedicated to my friend Patti, who also has a two-year-old runner – as in “runs off and doesn’t stop when called to.” I feel your pain, sweetie!


    1. I guess I’m in the same club as you and Patti. We’ve got a 2-year-old son who likes to bolt and rarely stops when called. He’s getting a “little” better, but my wife has such a tough time with it. Especially since our older son (4 years old), is fantastic. He stops dead in his tracks and even helps us go after/stop the little one.

      Thanks for the tips! I’m definitely going to try that sharing one. 🙂

    2. Chief Family Officer says:

      Thanks, Andrew – I hope they help! Another game that might be good is “red light, green light.” Just a variation but one that can be done outside without music.