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Episode Info: over the limit. That is the REAL speed limit. The real laws are the ones that are enforced, not the ones on the books, and it’s the same for parenting. The other time this system doesn’t work is when a small kid is too tired or momentarily too self-destructive to get a hold of their choices. I used to believe that any sentient being, given the right incentives and punishments, could be persuaded to do almost anything. Kid’s not making a good choice? Better punishment and rewards can fix it. I still lean that way, but I’m WAY less confident than I used to be. Sometimes we primates are blinded by our fears/desires/emotions/exhaustion. Sometimes you can threaten a kid with death or promise Disney World and that still won’t help them reign in their pointless screaming. I still think that consistent bad behavior is an indication of a lack of parenting, but everyone has one of those days. And especially young kids, who haven’t had practice controlling their emotions, need repeated guidance to see that they can change their mental state instead of their mental state changing them. When this is the case, the clip chart is off the table. It’s not helping anyone to clip down 4 times in 5 minutes, even if that’s what the rules say should happen. Something else is going on here. Am I miscommunicating? Are they emotionally impaired by some other event or lack of sleep? Are they sick or in pain? Am I emotionally impaired at the moment? As any good internet adviser will confirm, the kids still have to learn to be responsible for choices in such circumstances, but maybe in some cases, the best way to teach good decision-making isn’t the clip chart…maybe it’s just a nap or some Tylenol (which, by the way, works for sadness like it does for physical pain…not a recommendation, but it’s an interesting twist to the way emotional states and physical pain might both affect judgement and decision-making). WENDY RESPONDS: Hmm…that Tylenol bit is interesting, I’ll have to hear more about that later. Sounds like we’re speaking the same language with the consistency thing, which you are so much better at than I am! I am reminded pretty much daily that that definitely is the most important factor. .........
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