You are Viewing "Parenting Marginal Successes – Behavioral Modification Techniques That Sort of Worked"

Nov 7 2010

No More Begging – The True Story of a Chocolate Lollipop, a Whining Child, the Pacific Ocean, and a Father Who Just Loses It

Summary: Kids beg because you teach them to beg. So don’t teach them.

I grew up in a house with a few simple rules, one of which was “no means no”. So if you ever wanted something, don’t keep begging or you’ll surely doom your chances of ever getting it. My mom never wavered on this rule so I grew up accepting what my mom said as the real deal.

However, in elementary school, my best friend next door had a different dynamic. If his mom or dad said “no” he went into full begging mode. Why? Because in his house no meant “keep asking and if you beg in just the right way, and you whine and whimper a bit more, we may change our mind”.

That wasn’t stated explicitly, but that what he was taught – and that’s what he heard – every time his parents gave in.

One day my friend asks if I can have a sleep over at his house. I said I don’t know so let’s go ask.

So we go into my mom’s room.

“Mom, can I have a sleep over tonight at Peter’s house”

“No. Not tonight.”

“Ok. let’s go”.

My friend stops me in the hall and tells me to ask again. I tell him no. If my mom says no it means no. She’ll get angry if you keep asking. Continue reading

Dec 1 2009

Tic-Tac-Toe Trauma – Dealing with a Child’s Frustration with Mastering a New Skill

Summary: Sometimes explanations or assistance won’t do it and they just need to work it out themselves. Dealing with a child’s frustration with mastering a new skill.

Damn you foam rubber Tic-Tac-Toe game, damn you straight to hell!

Damn you foam rubber Tic-Tac-Toe game, damn you straight to hell!

It’s Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving and my daughter is out of school today. She’s been showing an interest in Tic-Tac-Toe lately so my partner breaks out a game board. It’s soft foam rubber material and you place the pieces on the board.

My partner beats her once again.

“You need to look at what I’m doing too. You just can’t focus on getting three in a row. You need to stop me from getting three in a row as well.”

They repeat this over and over until my daughter starts to figure it out. More often than not, the games begin to end in ties.

You’d link she’d be happy but my daughter get’s so frustrated that she starts crying because she’s not winning. Continue reading