If all else fails in dealing with misbehaving kids in public (question from last post) you could always try pulling out the camera and taking a picture:Yeah, it doesn’t work so well to get kids to calm down but for some reason it makes me feel better…(that post is here).

I’m kidding, a little bit.

Actually, the very best thing I got reminded of from a comment in that last post is the “start over” tactic my parents used to do. If a child starts acting up or talking disrespectfully we just stop and say “let’s start over,” and then we do. We start the conversation all over again from the beginning and let the child choose to respond a little bit better. It’s a good training tool I wish I’d remember to do more often.

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  1. Yep. One of my favorite responses to "I need milk!" is: Excuse me? Try again. Then, I usually get a sweet "Mom, may I have more milk please?" Excellent.

  2. Yes thats a great idea,i even use that one if my husband comes home in a grumpy mood or i am, i say please stop and lets start again, and for kids who have really lost the plot, i just sit down next to them pull out a book and read till they finish their tantrum(i have 5 yr twin girls)nothing stops them dead in their tracks qicker than not getting any attention for bad behaviour and when they perk up,i'm so happy with them .My kids got the message pretty quick there is no reward in bad behaviour and being good is a reward in its self.Its a process, some kids get through at different paces,so worth sticking to your guns.

  3. My 4 year-old son just looked over my shoulder at this picture and said, "she must have lost her books" which is our family's consequence for misbehavior at bedtime (and is actually extremely motivating; I think it's more the loss of one-on-one time with Mom/Dad that is the actual motivator, but a love of books is a nice bonus!). Anyway, I wanted to comment because I love reading your blog and you helped me in an unexpected way this week. My daughter who is 9 years, 11 months, and 3 weeks old, broke her arm this week. On that first day as I was grieving for her summer and beating myself up (oh the Mommy guilt–"If only we had left sooner", "if only I had made her wear different shoes," etc.) I thought about all the happy pictures of Claire in her cast on your blog. It gave me comfort to be able to picture my daughter with smiles ahead, even though she had broken her arm. A few days later we are all feeling better, but I wanted to thank you for that small tender mercy you gave me through your blog!

  4. Is she having a tantrum or overwhelmed.

    Lucy isn't typical. There are so many changes with school starting and stopping and vacations and fireworks… Can not expect her to handle those things and share anxiety and whatnot like the others.

  5. I love your blog! I was thinking the same thing as kms…maybe she is just trying to self regulate the best way she can at the moment. Often the behavior is just a response to an unmet need. Perhaps she was overstimulated. I try and ask myself at these moments…what is she trying to tell me?

  6. Have to smile at this because only with your height could you get a photo like this…I'd have to stand on a ladder to get this shot!!! Love it!! 🙂

  7. Looks like some of the comments here missed the link back to the entry when that Lucy pic was taken… in 2009. -smile-

    And today, it's still just as cute that you're able to take a breath, snap a picture, and push on. I'm sure you both felt pretty overwhelmed and overstimulated at that moment 😉

    Thanks for letting all of us strangers into your life! Happy 4th!

  8. You could do what my husband did in the store….my 3 yr old son started throwing a MAJOR fit over popsicles and so my husband got down on the floor and threw a huge tantrum himself. It stopped my son cold in his tracks and got many stares and laughs by passersby. Thankfully i wasn't there with him!

  9. Every child on the floor in the store isn't doing it to misbehave or gain attention.

    For some kids, especially when speech skiils aren't at age level will be so utterly frustrated and communicate through meltdowns. Meltdowns mean can't maintain eye contact and they really can't hear your words, get up, you will lose this or that if you don't get up on the count of three, or even notice you walked 5 feet away to let them finish it out. They aren't attention grabbing events. It's a loss of self regulation.

    Some kids have sensory stuff going on. Going into a busy store is like spending 40 minutes inside a loud speaker at a rock concert. Now imagine not being able to say to mom calmly you took me on 3 errands today already, it's too crowded in there?

    Parent's do need to remain and determine triggers, keep trying so that the store isn't so scary a place but maybe in easier pieces like morning before crowded or smaller trips overall or finding distractions in the store like fish tank or ceiling fans to calm down.

    Also there are many kids who don't fully understand routine changes like new place for vacation or not going to school on the same bus with the same teacher and the same kids M-F. In a world it's hard to understand how can they express that to others clearly?

  10. I really appreciate the start over idea as i am dealing with a very stroppy thirteen year old girl these days.
    love the pic of Lucy. The very act of taking a picture makes you step back from the situation a little. I agree with some of the comments but i think some of those triggers are the same for all kids regardless of whether they have 'problems' or not. Also she will learn how to cope with her emotions and different situations as she gets older.

  11. I think that Shawni is very aware of how to deal with Lucy! I don't think she was asking for advice, but giving us a tip on how to deal with tantrums!

  12. I have a few parenting questions too!!

    1) Have you had any experience with children telling lies/stories. I have a 7 yr old who is alwyas telling lies. It's driving me nuts!!

    2) have you ever had to deal with children talking back and been dis-respectful. if so, how have you dealt with it.

    3) Because of who your parents are, do you ever feel like you have to be 'on your best' when they are around? LOL.

  13. i love taking pictures of my kids too when they are misbehaving. i'm just curious though, is lucy offered summer school? my son zac (turning 5 in nov) has BBS and although i miss spending the extra time with him, summer school has been a godsend because it keeps him on some type of regular structure (which is not my strong suit) and it keeps him perusing his IEP goals. i think it is also useful to him because it is usually at a different location with a different teacher, different kids, etc. so he still has to learn to make some adjustments. anyway, so far he loves it and cries when it is time to go home. anyway, i'd love to get in contact with you. feel free to email me — it's nice to know when you're not alone (emily.whittemore@gmail.com)

    take care and best wishes to you and yours!


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