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 get my kids to try fish sticks?
Behavior: Won't eat fish sticks.
Problem: Need protein.
Solution: Dipping party!
Activity: Play down the fish sticks; play up the fun. Inform your children of the upcoming "dipping party." Tell them about all the wonderful dips they'll get to try. Use traditional dips like tartar sauce, use familiar like ketchup and mustard, use curious like ranch and barbecue sauce, and feel free to come up with several more of your own. If you go sweet, like fat-free whipped cream, just be prepared for them to like it, which could create a new set of problems. Presentation is important: dabs around their plate or little bowls add intrigue. At some point, mention that they'll be using fish sticks so that doesn't end up a disappointing surprise.
-- 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.