Creativity expert, professor, father and former day care provider Rustin Wolfe writes a weekly MinnMoms parenting advice column that uses creative punishments to put a positive spin on negative behavior.
Here's one of his creative solutions:
Question: When I tell my son I'd like him to get ready for bed, he doesn't. How can I get him to listen?
Behavior: Won't get ready for bed.
Problem: Wiggle room.
Solution: Be definitive.
Activity: If it's not negotiable, don't leave room for negotiation. If it's time for him to get ready for bed, don't tell him it's what you'd like, tell him it's what's happening. Telling your son that he should do something leaves room for him to choose otherwise. Don't give him that wiggle room. If you want to give him a decision to make, start five minutes earlier and ask if he'd like to get ready for bed now or in another 5 minutes. When time is up, time is up. Don't allow for another 5 if you don't want to continue negotiating. Perhaps if he moves quickly, you'll consider letting him pick up where he left off tomorrow.
-- Want Rustin's solution for your child's challenging behavior? Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Read the Naughty Column archive at minnmoms.com/naughtycolumn.