My wife is an awesome parent. She’s also better looking than I am. But back to the parenting thing.
A while back, our eldest entered into a real whiny and unhelpful phase. When she would refuse to do something, at first, we tried commands. Then we tried reasoning, but have you ever tried to reason with a two-year-old? And then my wife came up with “Two Options”. It’s worked like a charm.
“Two Options” goes like this: When our daughter is acting in a way that is not preferred, she is presented with two options (see where the name comes from?).
The first option goes something like, “You can keep screaming at the dinner table, but then you’ll go straight to bed after dinner without a story.” The second option is much better, “Or, you can stop screaming, eat your dinner, play afterward, and get a story tonight.”
To which, my daughter responds, “But I want to play and I want a story.”
“Then you should stop screaming and eat your dinner,” we’ll say.
“Okay,” she says. The choice is hers. We just try to help her choose the right option.
It should be said that my wife is better at coming up with the two options than I am. Mine always end up like, “You can apologize to your sister for knocking her over or you can take the trash out for a month.” And this is just unfeasible, because she is far too small to move our giant trash bin.
Another reason that my wife is a genius-level parent is her invention of the game, “Everything’s a Secret”. Here’s how you play: Whisper everything. The person who speaks above a whisper loses.
It’s a great game for us because the “screaming at the dinner table” scenario spelled out earlier happens on a semi-regular basis. Now we just have to start playing “Everything’s a Secret” and the volume drops back down to acceptable levels.
Do you have any great parenting tricks and tips that you’d like to share?