Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pause. . .and Rewind


I was laughing yesterday about a status that my cousin had posted on Facebook. It went a little something like this:

"It finally happened tonight. You see posts on facebook, hear people tell stories, but you never really believe it will happen to you, until it does. Tonight, our niece asked us, "What's a cassette?""

Most of the time, I don't quite feel old enough to be a parent. Other times, like this one, I realize that 31 is NOT the new 18 and I have officially been "dated". I remember cassettes. I had about a dozen mixed tapes lining the bookshelf in my room. I used to sit on my bunk bed, writing in my Lisa Frank trapper keeper journal waiting patiently for my favorite song to come on the boom box radio so that I could quickly hit "RECORD". Hours and hours would waste away while I waited and then. . .there it was! I'd hit that record button and dance around my bedroom to Michael Jackson's "Thriller", all the while mimicking the dance moves I had seen on t.v. Over and over and over I could listen to it now that I had my own version on cassette. Ever so often, I'd catch myself getting the choreography all wrong. I'd hit "Pause. . .and Rewind". Needless to say, the "moves" got better and better the second, third, and millionth time around. It was quite a scene. I wish you could all have been there. Really. 

As many times as I've wished that parenthood had a "Pause. . .and Rewind" feature, it's sad to say, I've had to scramble along without one. I would love a "do-over" every once in awhile when my temper and patience is less than stellar. It's because of this, that I've decided to start giving my toddlers a chance to "Pause. . .and Rewind" on almost a daily basis.  Let me set the stage for you:

It's late in the Banana Pants household. I have two sleepy, grumpy little trolls who have somehow prolonged their curfews by 30 minutes. We've had bath times, story times, snack times, and bedtime prayers. "It's time for bed, boys. Let's go."  As I start for the bedroom, one little stinker follows me without argument, blankie in hand, ready to claim his favorite spot on the bunk bed. My oldest little monster stays firmly planted on the couch, hands on his hips, eyebrows furrowed in determination and replies, "NO. IT'S NOT TIME FOR BED. I'M NOT GOING!" Good gracious, the will on this one! Normally, I would have broken out Cruella Deville right about now and given him "what-for" about who was in charge, but instead I say, "Pause. . . .and Rewind what just happened. Let's try again. What did you want to say?"  Somehow, this always makes him smile. "Um. . .", he'll say, realizing he gets a "do-over", "I don't want to go to bed yet." Of course it doesn't change my mind, but somehow it changes our moods and I eventually talk the little grouch into bed. 

The main thing I'm learning in the whole "Pause. . .and Rewind" scenario is that it puts both of us back on the same team. I don't want to compete with him for control every single step of the way. I also want him to understand that everyone needs second chances and that we all make mistakes. Don't get me wrong, this hasn't worked in every situation, but it's really been a good way for me to show my toddlers how much power we have over our words. If you've got a "mouth" at home like my little guy, maybe you should give it a shot!

What are some experiments that you've tried with your little ones that have proven successful? I'd love to hear them!

**This post is a part of a blog-hop link-up shinanigan! Come by and visit my friend Helene In Between to join us!!


14 comments:

  1. Hey there - new follower from the linkup. Love your blog & can't wait to read more :) Hope you have a great day!
    Rachel
    http://sugar-stripes.blogspot.com/

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  2. I think how well this works sometimes is how well you present the "do over" opportunity. If you present it as a "do over or else" then I think the response can be the same as before or if it is presented as an "or else" then it can escalate bad feelings. Then it can across as I am the dictator here dude. If it is presented as a true "do over" opportunity then I think what you experience is a very likely happening.

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    1. Very true, Mark. It IS how you approach the do-over. Here, it's a matter of a warning and is played our sort-of jokingly so they realize what they previously said is downright ridiculous. They correct themselves better if they can laugh about the wrong way. If not, it's back to discipline. But, I figure everyone needs second chances.

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  3. Oh wow...I can imagine how you must feel. I am not yet a parent to my own child but I can already relate to this post. =)
    xo,
    nancy

    http://adoretoadorn.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for coming by and leaving comments Nancy! Means a lot! Now I'm going to hop on over to your page and check it out too!

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  4. Fantastic idea!! I quite often have to use "Would you like to try that again.. and nicely this time?" with HJ (and he is only 3!) sounds like they are two peas in a pod! hehe :)

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    1. It works on both boys. They still need the constant reminders that sometimes the way they say things is downright hilarious and bossy and obstinate. Drives me bonkers! One of these days, they will learn mommy is the boss! :)

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  5. When my little monkeys wake up grumpy, we call it a "fresh start". It usually gets us all giggling, when the boys walk back into their rooms, and then come out like its the first time all over again! :)

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    1. That's adorable, Fallon! We'll have to use that one too!

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  6. Ha, cassettes! Now you've just made me feel old, my car still has one in it actually and I have to explain it more often than I'd like! I love how you've drawn from it though. This is something I have actually been thinking about lately (the whole control issue with children) as I can see my little one wanting to have her way ALL the time. My little one is only 10 months old so I can't won't be getting a "repeat" out of her just yet, I'm sure, but I'll definitely be tucking this little nugget away for the future. Thanks so much for sharing!

    I'm co-hosting TMAIT this week and found you through your link :)! So happy I did! Take care!

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  7. lol I am glad 31 is not the new 18, oh what a mess my family would be in! LOL

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