Friday, May 11, 2007

it's called "Positive Redirection"

The other day when I picked up the kids from school, Trevor told me that he had been invited to a birthday party. I casually mentioned how nice that was but that I had not picked up the invitation because I didn't go into his room (he was outside on the playground when I picked him up.) He stopped dead in his tracks and told me that we had to go back in to get the invitation. Picking these two up is a chore. 100 feet from the car, the only thing I go back for is if he has to potty. So, I casually told him that we would pick it up the next day. He had a melt down. He called me "stupid." He told me that I was not his mother any longer. He told me that I would no longer be allowed to take him to daycare. And, then he called me stupid again. He may have said he hated me, but if he did, I'm blocking it.

Fast forward to this morning.

Devin started saying the word, "Stupid." He said it over and over and over, and my telling him to stop only prompted him to kick the seat in front of him and say the word even more.

I know he looks up to Trevor, so I asked Trevor to tell him that Stupid was a bad word. Trevor said, "Devin, Stupid is a bad. Another word you can say is Awesome or Cool."

WOW. My kid is using a tactic on his brother. I was impressed. This was not my tactic. My tactic came next.

"Devin, you have one more chance. This is your final chance. If you say stupid again, you will get a time-out. Do you want a time-out?"

It seemed to work. Devin stopped saying stupid. I'm not sure if it was Trevor's tactic or my tactic that worked, but Devin stopped saying stupid. UNTIL. UNTIL. UNTIL Trevor brought it up again.

Two minutes after Devin last said Stupid, Trevor said, "Are you done saying Stupid, Devin?"

Devin said, "Stupid, Stupid, Stupid" and started kicking the seat in front of him.

When I got to school, I told Trevor's teacher about the incident in the car about how Trevor offered different words that Devin might be able to say instead of stupid. I told her it wasn't my tactic at all and that I expected it was hers.

"Ahhh," she said. "Yes. It's called Positive Redirection."

He's like a little sponge, that Trevor.

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