Friday, December 16, 2011

The Look and the 1-2-3

 OK, this is what I want you to do.  First, click on The Inspired Housewife's blog so you know what I am talking about, then come right back.....

......back already?

So, Diane asks if you use "The Look".  I think most of us, mothers or not, have a look we give to our children or spouses.  Am I right?

The reason I wanted to discuss this is because when I read her blog it reminded me of a parenting nugget I have to share.  It's not original but I used it so consistently that the results were nothing short of amazing.

Young parents, listen up.  Once you have perfected the look, a good one that gets your child's attention, you need to get your fingers in on the action.  You should probably practice this technique in private first, when you are not under stress.  That way it will come quite naturally as a follow-up to your "look" in an actual live-action situation.  In fact, I'd suggest you practice the "look" in front of the mirror in case you are a bit unsure of yourself.

Here's how it goes.  You do something stern with your mouth.  I think I kind of tighten my lips, raise my eyebrows and then pull them together.  It's good if you can refrain from blinking but if not, just be sure it is a long and slow blink that is loaded with disappointment.  Then make very, very direct eye contact with your offspring.  You say something like, "You'd better get down from there before I count to 3."  That's when the fingers jump in.  It is important that this begins at home when you are able to sternly count out loud, 1-2-3, as you pop the appropriate number of fingers to correlate with your count.  Don't count too fast.  At "3", a consequence must take place.  I usually put the child in time-out, or at least that was my plan.  This process began when our kids were really little and by the time they were 4 or 5 I don't think they even remembered what happened at "3".  They knew it was something they wanted to avoid and they corrected their behavior by "2".

The beauty of this simple technique was that I could do it in public with no one being aware except my child.  In church I could just catch their eye and raise 1 finger, 2 at the most.  Noise stopped.  It was like magic.

Here's the funniest part of it.  I still use it on Sam!

Sam is about 6'4" tall.  He still hates to see the fingers!  It's really rather funny to me.  I've no idea what I'd do now if I ever got to "3", but it doesn't really matter.

Now, if only I could get it to work on Bode...


Petra said...

Thanks for making me smile! Bode is one of a kind! :-)

Maria Rose said...

I got shivers just reading that. I think it would still work on 30.

P.S. I have been working with Cordelia on this technique. Initially she laughed, but she is starting to get it. Booyah!

Kate W. said...

Thanks for the smile, Sue!! That pic of Bode looks like he's plenty scared! LOL! My mom would tighten her lips and bat her eyes at us. That's when us girls knew we had pushed beyond her limits, and it usually wasn't pretty. The funny part of this is, there was a card, some years back, you know, the Shoebox kind that's hysterical . . . well, it had something about a mom batting her eyes. It was a birthday card. And my sister, Kelly, and I, both bought this same card for her, without knowing the other had bought it -- me in SLC, her in Dallas. Mom was quite horrified, but had to laugh! :) I know I bat my eyes, too, when I'm irritated at my hubby . . . would have to ask him if I have any other "look." I know he does!

Victoria said...

I never had to use the "sign", as I could make Sean whimper with just the "look"(lucky me)but it is a darn good technique! You should hold a seminar for new moms!! AND you CAN get Body to respond!! My pups respond to hand signs. All you need is a little time every day and a treat they would die for...promise!

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