Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Two-Minute Warning

Today Grace and I went to the mall to pick up a pre-ordered copy of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" anniversary edition. (Thanks, Mimi! We'll bring it with us next time we go to Clinton). Anyway, before we went home I let Grace play on the mall playground for a little while.

While watching Grace play, I started a conversation with a mother sitting next to me. After we had talked for a while, it was about time for Grace and me to go. When Grace ran past me, I stopped her and told her that she had two more minutes to play. My new friend laughed and said, "Does that really work?" I told her that it had really been helping Grace change activities without fussing since I started doing it a few weeks ago. I give her a two-minute warning when we're getting ready to stop doing something she really enjoys like a playground, bathtime, before bedtime, etc. For kids, there's something about knowing what is coming and having time to prepare that helps them have a better attitude about a change.

After I talked positively about this technique, I started praying that Grace would be sweet and obedient when the two minutes were up. Thankfully, she was. When I told her the two minutes were up, she immediately came over and put on her shoes. She happily waved and exclaimed, "Bye-bye playground! I'll see you later!". My new friend was amazed and told me she was going to start the two-minute warning technique today.

I wish I could say that Grace was always this sweet and obedient when leaving a playground! I am thankful, however, that she usually obeys without fussing, especially when I give her a two-minute warning. This technique helped me greatly when I was a school teacher, and so far it's equally effective with Grace.

Of course, there are times when I can't (or forget to) give a two-minute warning....Grace is expected to obey swiftly and sweetly during those times, too. But, I have found that those two minutes of final play somehow help prepare her heart to obey me with a good attitude.

1 comment:

Larry said...

I linked to you.