Creative Correction

Yesterday’s discussion about proactive parenting brought up some good questions!

One question came from Tawnda who asked what to do with a whiny 3 year old. Here’s one suggestion we used when our kids were little:

Pretend not to hear her when she whines. In fact, to train her to this, you can play a game with her. Ask her to ask you for a drink with a whiny voice. Then ask her to ask you for a drink in a nice, not whiny, voice. Do that several times so she knows how to go between the two voices. Then tell her that from now on you will not be able to hear her when she talks in a whiny voice. You can only hear her when she says something nicely.  You will have trained her to go between the two voices so she will know how to do it when she needs to do it in the future.  When we train our kids with this kind of “fun” it helps them to know how to do what we need them to do in the future.

The other question I thought we’d tackle today is from Shelley who asked, “What consequences can we employ? Five kids and fifteen years of parenting, and i’m outta ideas!”

I thought we’d take today to help Shelley, and each other, out!  We are creative moms and if we put our heads together, I bet we can come up with a list of consequences for us to consider using with our kids.

I’ll start the list and then I need you to add to it throughout the day.  Tomorrow evening I’ll actually update this post with a complete list of all the suggestions that have been shared so we all have a list of creative ways to correct our kids when needed.

Let me say first, that discipline is not a one-size-fits-all topic.  Every kid is different so we have to tailor the consequences to the child.  I’ll start us with a few we’ve found helpful with one or more of our kids.

1. Lose a privilege.
2. Do an extra chore or job around the house.
3. Lose something special for a short amount of time (i.e. favorite stuffed animal or doll)
4. Lose the privilege of speaking (for disrespectful words spoken by older elementary thru teen)
5. Lose chair at mealtime (if they can’t keep all four legs on the ground.)
6. Allow natural consequences to run their course (not step in and try to make it easier on the child if they get in trouble at school or do poorly on a test because they didn’t study.)
7. Lose phone privileges (house phone or cell phone, depending on age)
8. (You’re next!!!!)

Let me also share about a great resource on this topic.  Lisa Whelchel wrote a great book on this topic. It’s called Creative Correction. I want to share some wisdom from her book that all of us need to remember:

Effective correction involves more than simply using the right tools.  You may own a shiny, new Sears Master Craftsman Deluxe triple0decker toolbox filled with the finest Snap-On tools, but there will still be times you need to call in a professional.  In other words, even though you may know the best correction methods in the world, sometimes you’ll need the guidance of an expert.   Well, have I got an expert for you: Jesus!

Fortunately, His Assistant, the Holy Spirit, is on call 24 hours a day (see John 14:26).  Many times when I’m experiencing a crisis with one of my kids and don’t know what tool to use, I ask the Holy Spirit.  Usually within minutes, He gives me an idea.  What’s so ironic is that often the solution was right in front of me, but I wasn’t sure whether I really had the expertise to fix the problem.

What a great reminder for all of us!  This list will be very helpful for us, but we have an expert we can consult any time of the day!  God longs for us to turn to him for wisdom.

So what about you?  What methods of creative correction do you have to share with other moms?


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12 thoughts on “Creative Correction

  1. Here’s one I love! When kids are little and you want to give them a chore as a consequence, give them a baby wipe and have them clean the baseboard along one wall, a whole room if they are older. A dear friend gave me that one. She said “I have the cleanest baseboards in the neighborhood!” LOL

  2. We started using The Break about 2 years ago. It isn’t something we made up, but we like it! When the child does something wrong that isn’t an accident, they “go take a break”. They must sit somewhere boring, where there is nothing to play with, and think about it. When they are.ready to talk about it, they come to us in a humble manner. We review with that child: 1. What they did wrong, or their part in it, 2. Why It’s wrong (what God has to say about it) , and 3. What they will do next time (the better choice).

  3. My son (8 years old) has to written sentences for his misbehavior and bad attitude towards any of us in the family or from a non-sticker day at school. It starts with 20 and works up until he can improve on his behavior and attitude. Normally the sentences are ” I will not misbehave in class” –” I will not be disrespectful to my mother” – that type of thing, but once he got caught stealing a piece of candy from a little girl’s desk at school and though he returned it on his own, a note was sent home. So, we looked up the commandment in the bible about stealing and then he had to write it over 20 times. That I know of, he has not stolen anything since…..but other than negative consequences, we are also learning to focus on positive consequences. He has a behavior chart in his room and everytime I catch him doing something kind or having good behavior or doing an errand/chore without being asked – he gets a sticker or a smiley face and when he has ten stickers, he gets to pull from the “get to do”can……we have several things on paper in that can – examples: ice cream outing, skating trip, extra 30 minutes of TV time, extra 30 minutes of game time, Pool day….etc., etc. That has worked better than any negative consequence for him so far. 🙂 With my four year old, all I have to do is take her TV away and she is good….if only he were that easy…LOL!

  4. Any suggestions for a very whiny/screaming 17-month-old. My granddaughter is this way and I am stuck on suggestions for my daughter. Every time she wants something she either whines or screams and sometimes even if she does not want anything she just whines or screams. Thanks!!!

    • The fact that my son would only whine or scream, combined with a lack of word use, was the biggest clue that there might be something wrong with his abililty to hear. It could be that that is why your granddaughter whines and screams to get what she wants. Other than that, at 17 months old, there isn’t alot that can be done except to try to understand what they want. Without alot of verbal skills, they get very frustrated trying to tell us what they want. You might try sign language with her too.

  5. When my 2 year old (almost 3) whines I tell him I can’t understand him and he needs to talk to me in his normal tone of voice.

    My children are young yet and I have quickly learned empty threats don’t work! They are only exhausting! I could also use some creative correction tips myself! I do know consistency is key!

  6. Jill – I’m curious how you implement the “loss of talking” with an older kid (age 11 and up)? How long can they not talk? And do they just go about normal life at home but are not allowed to say anything? Just curious as this sounds like a good consequence that I think would be very effective with my daughter. Thanks so much for your insights – I glean things from your website almost every day – thank you for all that you do!!!

    • We tell them they cannot speak for a set amount of time (like 3 minutes). After that amount of time has passed, they can’t speak until they can apologize for the offense and ask for forgiveness.

  7. Oops – I have no idea why my husbands picture shows up when I posted my comment??? It really is me, Dana, and I’m not a guy! ha!!! But that’s my wonderful husband in the picture. 🙂
    Dana K.

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