Journal Entry

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Give Me The Damned Carrot

The excellent Haddayr has blogged about two parenting books I recommended to her, "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" and "Siblings Without Rivalry".

Having not read those books lately myself -- and from general inattention and laziness -- I'm getting a little slipshod about my use of their techniques. I find myself starting to intervene more in Noah and Aviva's disputes, yelling more, and saying things like "Why didn't you do what I told you?" (a question you typically don't actually want an answer to).

But I was clever enough, at one point, to make a big, multicolored display of all the practical tips in "How to Talk..." and post it on the wall in the kitchen, above the stove. This often saves my butt, as in the following:

Noah drops a carrot.

DADDY: Noah, pick up the carrot.

NOAH (defiant gleam in his eye): NO!

DADDY (squats down): Noah, you need to pick up the carrot.

NOAH: (sets his shoulders, ready to rumble)

DADDY: (blood begins to boil)

(Predictable future: haranguing, yelling, confiscations, complete distraction from whatever we were supposed to be doing, mess, pyrrhic victories all around, etc., etc.)

DADDY: (at last moment, sees chart on wall. Under "getting cooperation", it lists five tactics, the first of which is "describe the problem") Oh, Noah, I see a carrot on the floor which is getting dirty.

NOAH: here! (hands Daddy carrot)

DADDY: [falls over dead from the shock]


(Hey. it's a blog meme! Recount a true, recent conversation which ends with you falling over dead from the shock!)

Posted by benrosen at August 2, 2006 03:59 PM | Up to blog
Comments

Looks like:
* any of your readers who recently fell over dead from the shock at the end of a conversation are unable to post comments here, while
* those readers who thankfully have had no fatal conversations recently felt constrained by your insistence on the conversation being "true" and thus didn't comment.

So, folks, how about recounting a true, *long-distant* conversation which ends with you falling over dead from shock?

Posted by: Peter Hollo at August 2, 2006 11:15 PM

Why are these books just for parenting?

Posted by: David Moles at August 3, 2006 08:18 AM

Peter... works for me!

David: Right. They work for managing software projects, too.

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at August 3, 2006 10:49 AM

As related by Jane:
Eli & his friend Will (both 3) are playing. Will picks up a toy named Lofty, which Eli (naturally) wants.

Eli tries to grab Lofty from Will.

Will pulls Lofty away.

(Jane tries not to dive in and break them up, but to let them resolve this on their own).

Eli hits Will and tries to grab Lofty.

Will hits Eli and pulls Lofty away.

(JANE: Must. Not. Grab. Child.)

Eli hits Will and tries to grab Lofty.

Will hits Eli and pulls Lofty away.

(Jane recalls that other option she read about...)

JANE: Eli, why don't you ask Will for the toy?

ELI: Will, can I have Lofty?

WILL: Okay. (hands toy to Eli).

I found Jane lying on the floor dead from the shock when I came home, but thankfully she could be revived.

[Addendum:
DADDY: What did you do today, Eli?
ELI: I hit Will.]

Posted by: Aaron Walker at August 4, 2006 08:32 AM

You have a chart on the wall?

Posted by: Jackie M. at August 11, 2006 06:39 PM

Why, yes. Why yes I do.

I'll have to post a picture.

Hit Will *AND* got Lofty. Sweet!

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at August 11, 2006 06:58 PM
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