Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1-2-3 Magic

First dogs, now kids, let me just say I am NOT an expert in either field, but I have lots of experience. Enough experience to be able to loudly proclaim, "there are a lot of people that SUCK at parenting." I wasn't a perfect parent, there were times I wasn't even good at it. In the end I have two adult children that are productive members of society, with just a smidge of baggage, compliments of their well meaning and ever loving mother.

Every month at TOF's preschool they hold a Parent Education Night, it's open to the parents of all the preschoolers there. Roughly estimating, 120 preschoolers. The average attendance, 15 parents. These sessions are free, they are informative and there's a DOOR PRIZE. Augie Dawgs and I are so there! Last night's session was "Behavior Strategies, Establishing Routines, and Disciplining your Preschooler." Who can't use a few tips in that area?

The social worker gave a very interesting presentation on the use of 1-2-3 Magic and the use of timeouts and redirection. If you haven't heard of 1-2-3 Magic, (it's nothing new, I began using it 23 years ago when my son was a toddler), I highly recommend that you go to the library and check it out. Afterwards, she opened the floor for discussion. That's when my head started spinning.

One woman had a question about enforcing time outs. She said her 4 year old would not sit in a time out, she would repeatedly stand up and walk away. So I gently suggested that she stand in front of the child for the 4 minute duration (one minute for every year of her age) and insist she keep her head down in her lap. Tried and tested here on The Avenue. IT WORKS! Her reply to me, "Oh no, she won't do that!" I said, "Really? If you stand right there and remind her, she won't?" But in my head I am screaming.....WHO IS THE ADULT HERE? Let me have a week with her, you'll have a changed child, so you can just screw her up again. I bit my tongue because, well you can't fix stupid.

This woman didn't stop there, she went on to say that her and husband both tip toe around the girl, so as 'not to set her off.' She's very strong willed and they never know what will send her into a frenzy. She hits and bites and will do anything to get her way. Now it very well may be that their daughter has some sort of deep neurological problems or is perhaps possessed by Satan, but my gut tells me it's just a case of bad parenting.

So before I jump off my soap box way up here, let me just say to parents, you are the adult. They are the child. Children crave stability, routine and consistency. They want to behave and to please you, but some of you make it so easy for them to become out of control and for that all of us suffer.

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Lola said...

The sad thing is this child probably is going to get a diagnosis of Bipolar in the future and be medicated. That's the answer to everything when there is a child that is willful and anything sets them off.

Michelle said...

Oh amen amen amen.

Although ummm I have to admit that I don't generally get to the free parenting classes our preschool offers because 1) it's 25 minute each way 2) my husband frequently isn't home, meaning I need a babysitter and 3) I'm so DONE by that point of the night... I can't add anything more to my plate.

But my wee ones? They DO timeouts.

Kaci said...

:( Very sad

Anonymous said...

I can tell you've seen the Dog Whisperer: BALANCE! CONSISTENCY! BOUNDARIES! Then walk them til they're pooped out. It applies to children too.

Leah said...

I guess Connor must be possessed by the devil then, because I've parented two kids before Connor who don't push the way he does... LOL So it clearly can't be a case of bad parenting. *grin* I think I'm a parent in need of some new strategies because the tried and true ones just aren't working!

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