Saturday, September 19, 2009

Worth Considering

A friend of mine gave me a book called "That's My Son", by Rick Johnson. I haven't finished it yet, but so far it's been very informative and worth-reading. One of the biggest things that has stood out to be (probably because it's a big fault of mine), is this idea, which I am going to paraphrase:

Little boys usually will not be able to sit through a 'lecture'. After about 60 seconds, their eyes glaze over, and you've lost them. Keep your instruction times short, simple, and to the point. Four things to remember:

1. Get his attention (Turn off the TV, make him put his toy down, whatever)
2. Make Eye Conctact
3. Give him good, concise information
4. Ask him to repeat it.

Now, the author does say that a good lecture is sometimes just what a child needs, but that it's like a triple fudge sundae----a little goes a long way, and after too much, you just get sick of it :)

Here, I'm ashamed to say, is what a lot of my 'instruction/correction' to Eli sounds like:

" Eli, why are you drawing on the bathroom floor with a marker? That is a very bad thing to do. You KNOW better than that, Eli! Now there is pink marker all over Mommy's bathroom floor. What would make you do something like that? Mommy doesn't like to clean up marker from the bathroom floor! What are we supposed to draw on? Paper, not the floor! You should always ask Mommy for paper when you want to draw with markers! Now you have made a mess. You should never, ever, ever do this again. Now, I am going to go get a paper towel, and you will have to clean this up. Don't you feel bad for what you did? I am so upset, Eli....." and on and on.

Yeah. Did I lose you at about sentence number two? Eli usually looks kind of 'glazed over' too. So, here, according to the author, would have been a much better way to handle that situation:

"Eli, coloring with markers on the floor is not allowed. Please do not ever do this again. Do you understand? Good. Now, please go get a cloth to clean it up."

See the difference? Short and concise, the point is made, I remain calm and in control, and Eli is more likely to actually remember it in the future, instead of my voice like Charlie Brown's mother going "Wah, wah, wah, wah wah" :)

Something to work on? I know I'm feeling convicted......


Stephen, Sarah, Nora and Joseph said...

Good reminder! Thanks for posting this...

Jodi said...

Hee I'm going to hear Charlie Brown's mom in my head the next time I start lecturing. Great reminder! Thanks for sharing Jaime. :)


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