In parenting, one of the most important things to teach our kids is the ability to pause, think, before we act impulsively or reactively. It’s not easy for adults, let alone young kids. Having said that, it’s good to practice early rather than late.
In 123Magic, we try to use the strategy of 1,2,3 consequence in order to teach and implement this.
It’s like being a football umpire. The player has a tantrum. The umpire shows the player a yellow card. The umpire doesn’t reason or argue back. The umpire stays calm. If the tantrum continues, it’s a red card and immediate consequence like time out or some other predetermined consequence. The umpire stays calm and consistent.
So when the child doesn’t listen or not behaved appropriately, the parent can learn to be like an umpire. Parent states it’s a one in a calm manner without frustration. If the child doesn’t respond appropriately in a few seconds, parent states it’s a two in a calm manner without frustration. If the child doesn’t respond appropriately in a few seconds, then it’s a three followed by an immediate consequence.
Remember that the “1,2,3” are not warnings. It’s a simple prompt to stop, think, before we react. Often, the “1,2,3” are for the parents as well. In some ways, it helps both parent and child to be more mindful and not get “sucked into” the escalation trap.
So be like an umpire ….