For this tip, Pantley uses examples such as pretending to fall down or putting a sock on a hand instead of a foot. Children find lots of things funny so you don’t have to come up with anything elaborate to make them laugh.
Hubby uses this tactic quite a lot and I have to say he’s a lot better at it than I am. I think it is because I’ve always been a serious person, I don’t really know how to behave silly. Having a child has forced me to learn to lighten up. I’ve discovered that I may not know how to be silly the way hubby is but I can do it my way. For instance, when I use this tactic with Gavin all I do is change the tone of the mood. For example, when Gavin does something that could precipitate a reaction from me, I realise that I have two choices – I can get mad and yell at him, or I can twist it and poke fun at it.
For instance, take the bath time example – whenever Gavin protests against having a shower, there is always a moment just before everything goes downhill where I can decide how I’m going to handle it. Admittedly, when I’m tired, I often miss the cue and it becomes a battle of wills (and screams) to the end. If I can catch that moment where the path splits, instead of ordering Gavin to remove his clothes, I turn it into a silly match where I tickle him, pull faces and say silly things. While he’s laughing and defenseless, I strip off his clothes and march him into the shower. To fend off any protests, I keep the silliness going until we’re out of the shower. So far it’s worked every time.
Have you used this disciplinary measure on your children? Please share your experiences below.