Are you listening to me? | Teaching Self-Government

Are you listening to me?

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 "With my 5 year old, when I am correcting negative behavior and I ask him to practice with me, he goes into goofy mode and doesn't want to practice correct behavior, or does it silly. Should I give him consequences for this behavior? or should I skip the practice?"

I know just the goofy mode you are talking about.  I used to have a child who did the same thing.  He really loved the attention time when I was just focusing on him.  Because I had made our talks so positive, he actually looked forward to the personal attention of those special talks. 

I don’t know if your son is doing his behaviors for the same reason, but it is possible.  The other option could be that he is embarrassed.  Either way, practicing is a good thing to do to internalize the skills.  Maybe don’t practice three times every single time.  Maybe just practice once, repeating the exact situation which just happened.  Sometimes, after a lot of past practice, once is enough to remind of the appropriate behavior. 

The other thought I have is, if your son is trying to get your attention during teaching time, then either don’t only have an interaction with your son, but tell him after the teaching your are going to play a game or something else enjoyable, or make sure you have plenty of one on one play time at other times in the day so during a corrective interaction you can say, “Right now is not a play time.  We are going to have play time _________.  Right now I am going to give you an instruction to see if you are ready to talk.  If you are ready to talk, then you will follow the instruction.  If you are not ready to talk, then I will know you need to go back to time-out.” 

You son needs to know your expectations for teaching time and you need to be consistent in making sure the mood stays the same during these times.  Don’t be mean or severe; speak with love, kindness, and firmness. 

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