"Skill to do comes of doing." Emerson
Karyn Purvis talks about it in her book, The Connected Child. I've read it, several times, and used the technique. But, I left it in the bottom of my bag of tricks for too long. This really and truly works. It's called a 're-do'.
Here's an example: child comes into the room and stomps around, being generally disagreeable. Then he requests something, like a play date or a drink. You (as always) breathe deeply, then go, "Hey, Buddy, let's try that again, in a way that would make me want to help you out." Go back to the door, and start over using a different tone of voice that says you want help.
Now, as much as I'm a believer in miracles, I wouldn't expect this to work the first time. Yes, you may have something thrown at the wall or even more growling. Expect it and you won't overreact. Stay calm, and now try to model the behavior. "Here, this is how I would do it, if I wanted to have a glass of juice." Then walk into the room quietly, and say it in a nice voice. If you feel it would be helpful, you can also show the contrast between nice and not nice voices by acting out both scenarios.
You let her know you've got all the time in the world for her to try this, and you'll be helpful every step of the way. And that you're fine with giving her some space.
Then you wait.
The growling may continue. Or it may not.
This is an investment, not a quick fix. Even if it doesn't go well this time, you are teaching her brain something. And if you keep doing things this way, little by little, her brain will change.
If you use it in non-explosive situations first, it will be much better for both of you. That will let him learn that it is not a confrontation or a punishment, and that you are supportive. Do not start out trying this when you know you are about to have a serious meltdown. Do it when you get a whining or grumpy voice, a little stomping around, a touch of rudeness--not an invitation to war.
In the beginning, it may also help to choose fairly upbeat situations, when there's a desire on the part of the child to cooperate. If she's not at the boiling point, she will find it much easier to try closing the door again, a little more gently. If you are about to go out for ice cream, it will be less difficult to get her to say something in a quieter tone of voice, and use the word "please." As you know, no technique works every time, but you can improve your odds.
Once this idea has settled in, you can increase the difficulty by using it in more and more difficult situations. You can play act or model conversations--you will figure out what works best with your child. Often it gets to be downright funny and both parties end up laughing. Try acting out being beastly and angry for long enough, and it's really hard to stay that way.
If your child is having difficulty at school, and you need to pick her up because of that, it would be helpful, when you get there, to replay what could have happened differently if she were feeling frustrated/angry/afraid, even if the replay is done by you. End with success, and solutions, not in defeat and guilt.
We remember best what we learn in each individual environment. So, even if you've practiced a skill at home, it may not work as well at school until you practice it there. Take the show on the road, and do rehearsals wherever there are difficulties.
What you're doing is re-wiring the brain. That's why it requires patience. If you simply correct and/or punish when things go wrong, she never experiences the right way to do things. It is much much harder for our brain to not do things than it is to be told to do something. Try not thinking about something. It's usually an exercise in futility.
When an athlete is trying to learn to do something well, he will not practice not making mistakes, he will practice making the right moves. That is what works. It takes time, and it's time well spent.
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"Skill to do comes of doing." Emerson Karyn Purvis talks about it in her book, The Connected Child. I've read it, several ...