Over the past couple of months our kids, especially Anahí but to a lesser extent Kimball and Alicia, have been going through what we hope is a phase where they think that potty talk is hilarious.
None of it is anything really serious, but it is extremely annoying.
Actually to be honest, sometimes it secretly is. Like last night when Alicia told me very seriously:
"Dad, 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' is a potty song because twinkle means pee."
It wasn't a question, just a statement of fact. It looked like her head was going to explode when I told her about the difference between "twinkle" and "tinkle." It was pretty awesome.
But it isn't always awesome. Sometimes it's embarrassing or just downright annoying. Sometimes we wonder if she will be in college saying "poop" expecting to get a reaction out of people.
At first we tried taking away weekend screen time as a negative consequence, but that didn't work. It never felt like the right thing anyway. When we started moving to more immediate consequences we saw more improvement. Honestly the best thing that we have found is just to pick up the offender and take them out of the room with instructions that they can come back when they are done. This has to be done in a calm assertive way, with neutral energy and very little talking. Anahí used to cry and have big fits about it. Now she usually calms down and says she is done and we can go back in the room together.
Actually this kind of discipline has been generally really good for us. The other night Alicia had a tantrum about something that she couldn't have, but it didn't last nearly as long as it would have in the past because she seemed to get the idea that it just wasn't going to happen. There was no yelling on
our part. Just calm assertion. Likewise, today Anahí flipped out at lunch because she wanted something that wasn't on the menu. I just calmly picked her up and took her room with instructions that she could come out when she was calmed down. I thought there would be lots of screaming and pounding but instead after just a minute or so she came out with great big swollen puppy dog eyes and stated that she was ready to be calm. It was pretty awesome.
But then in the car down to St. George this afternoon she started up with the potty talk again and I was at a bit of a loss. It's tough to work with your kids when you are driving 80mph. So we basically let it go.
So that's where we are right now on discipline and potty talk. If any of you have great ideas about how to help the kids get through this stage or about how to deal with backseat bickering and potty talk in the car, we'd be much obliged.
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