Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not in Front of the Children, Pal.

We can no longer talk about Opal in front of Opal, especially with regards to discipline.

Here is an example:
Opal's default volume when trying to communicate is currently one of panic and command. PICK IT UP RIGHT NOW MAMA!!! She screams.
And when I say Opalll—with the long "L," wearing the quintessential watch it lady parent-face—she yells PLEEEEZE!!! at the same volume.
So we are working on teaching her to continue to excel at asking for what she needs but in a kinder tone of voice.

On a particularly bossy day last week, we were all riding in the car together, Jesse and I in the front and Opal in the back in her car-seat. I said to Jesse, softly, maybe we should try just ignoring her when she yells like that. When she whines, we either say we can't understand her until she talks in a normal voice or we invite her to keep whining but in a different room. This has worked beautifully, which I haven't recognized until this moment in the writing of it. She rarely ever whines unless she is sleepy or tired, but not even then all that much. So why don't we try that with the screaming? She can choose to keep screaming but she'll get no attention until she's done and chooses another option.
Jesse gave me a look that said, not now, honey, the walls have ears.

And no sooner had his non-verbal clicked into comprehension did Opal begin to SCREAM her lungs out in the back of the car. One LONG stretch of source-less, screeching, shrilling, as if to say, ignore THIS, mom and dad.
Point received.

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