Let’s Try That Again

By: - January 23, 2014

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“Let’s try that again” is a phrase heard daily at our house. With six kids in our home, we are always looking for simple ways to correct our kid’s unwanted behaviors without seeming like we are always correcting them. One great tool we use is to simply have our kids redo a behavior. It is amazing how well it works, and how quickly kids catch on.

Redo’s are a wonderful tool for reshaping behavior. They help a child feel successful and activate motor memory.*

Here’s what a redo looks like at our house

Unwanted Action – A child comes running into the house and slams the door behind him. Mom says, “Whoa!  Let’s try that again. Please go back outside and walk into the house without slamming the door behind you.” Then the child goes out and does the correct behavior.

Unwanted Words – A child yells at another child and calls them a “big meany” for not letting them have the toy they want. Mom overhears and says, “Hey that’s not a kind way to speak to one another. Can you try that again with good words?” Ideally the child will redo it with something like, “I don’t like it when you don’t share. Can I please use that toy when you are finished?” If the redo is not said in a kind way, you can help your child by giving an example of a kind way of speaking.

Keys to making this tool effective are:

  1. Keep your voice upbeat and kind.
  2. Try to refrain from lecturing your child about why what they did was wrong.
  3. Be sure to “redo” it until the wanted behavior is achieved.  (This is especially important when using this strategy with disrespectful or unkind words.  We don’t want them to continue practicing it the wrong way.)
  4. Praise your child for doing it correctly! (even if it took 10 times)

I know this seems so simple, but it is really very effective. We have been doing this long enough with our kiddos, that often times they will ask for a “redo” without being prompted by us.

*p.98 The Connected Child

This post originally appeared on onebighappyhome.com

Also Found In: A Mother's Heart, Challenges & Issues, Discipline, Tapestry Blog