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: My 4-year-old kept taking off at a recent art fair. How can I corral him?
Behavior: Running ahead.
Problem: Could get lost in the crowd.
Solution: Prep him with game-like instructions.
Activity: "Let's see how quickly you can freeze like a statue when I say, 'freeze!' " If he's too far ahead, he won't be able to hear, so he'll have to stay close to play. Rehearse before the event, and if you're already there, take a break and practice before proceeding. As a bonus, it's cute when he tries to hold still. If merely freezing is too easy, mix in other instructions like stoplight colors or beep-beep reverse. Don't hesitate to laugh and tell him he's done a fine job when he stops on cue. After all, it's a game that can have serious consequences.
-- 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.