Creativity expert, professor, father and former day care provider Rustin Wolfe writes a weekly parenting advice column that uses creative punishments to put a positive spin on negative behavior.
Here's one of his creative solutions:
MEDIAN, MODE, BUT MOSTLY MEAN
Question: How can I get my daughter to stop telling me I'm always mean?
Behavior: Calling parent mean.
Problem: Parent doesn't enjoy being called mean.
Solution: Don't sweat it.
Activity: We can't let our selfish desire to be liked overwhelm our role as parent. If she never thinks you're mean, you're doing something wrong. When called mean, I like to respond with questions: "Am I really always mean? What about the movie I took you to last weekend, the breakfast I made you this morning or the park I took you to this afternoon? So, occasionally, I'm not mean. Right now, am I being mean, or do you just not like my decision? Why do you not like my decision? Why do you think I made that decision?" Make her uncomfortable in her characterization of you. And don't forget that it's her judgment of you when she's an adult that will matter more.
-- 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.