This book made a lot more sense to me after I went to Habitot’s parenting workshop given by Dr. Erica Reischer, “10 Things Great Parents Do.” She had a lot of wonderful advice and information. Unlike some parenting blogs, books, doctors, people, etc. her advice seem adaptable to a whole series of different kind of families (so it wasn’t aimed just at people who live in a house made of organic vegan reconstituted bread crumbs or parents whose two year old’s schedules are busier and more stressful than mine). She made some of the things that I already do make more sense, made me reconsider some of the ways we try to deal with our vivacious two year old, and gave some great ideas on other parenting methods we could use. One idea she mentioned that I definitely want to do more of is getting a child to behave using imagination/creative techniques. Dr. Reischer mentioned a study that got a bunch of five year olds to be still through an inventive story (involving, I believe, a trapped princess), whereas they wouldn’t be still when just ordered to be still (make sense! seriously, this makes sense to me, I think the creative technique might work better on me as well). In How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? a whole bunch of dinosaurs (with human parents) are depicted doing things one should not do before going to bed (but which dinosaurs do not actually do, because dinosaurs are awesome), and then the second half of the book illustrates how real dinosaurs say good night (they are very sweet, don’t roar, they do not whine, they get into bed without making their parents read a million books, etc.). It is fun and a way to have your child pretend to be a dinosaur when going to bed, that actually involves being super well behaved. The book asks questions and my daughter loves responding loudly “No!” to all the questions about the dinosaurs who are behaving naughtily (Does he mope, does he moan, does he sulk, does he sigh? Does he fall on top of his covers and cry?).
I’ve been telling her a story right before she goes to sleep about a little girl who lives in an enchanted forest who happens to have my daughter’s name (the story always ends with the little girl going to sleep); it seems to be helping. What sort of creative parenting techniques do you use? Do you ever use creative techniques to get yourself to behave?
Have a great weekend!