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: How can I stop my kids from using our good pillows when constructing their forts?
Behavior: Building a fort.
Problem: Using good pillows.
Solution: Make sure they have enough bad pillows.
Activity: Provide them with a robust list of what they can use: pillows, sheets, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. Then they're less likely to seek impermissible items. If they persist on the blacklisted items, ask them why they think you don't want them to use them. Then ask them why they want to use them. As you help them problem-solve, you can further focus their attention on acceptable items. Show them alternatives and let them decide. My favorite design of late has been placing a fitted sheet over two chairs and the back of the couch (or four chairs). Hanging a top sheet down the side helps anchor the fitted sheet to the chairs.
-- Want Rustin's solution for your child's challenging behavior? Send questions to email@example.com.
-- Read the Naughty Column archive at minnmoms.com/naughtycolumn.