It’s actually working.
Part of me is still in shock, and I am under no illusion that my next parenting challenge (or “growth opportunity”) might not be just around the corner, but in this case, what I am doing is actually working. Wow!
If you haven’t read my last post, I talked about my seemingly life-changing discovery of Deborah Tillman, America’s Supernanny, and her approach towards using a “Calm Down Corner.”
Well, the first two nights at it were intense, to say the least, as my four-year-old, Siena, kicked, threw, flailed, hit and screamed at me, “This isn’t working for me!”
On the third night, Siena’s three minutes of quiet (once she had calmed down) were interrupted when she needed to poo – of course… When she came back I let her finish the three minutes holding her pink teddy bear.
When my alarm beeped, she looked up and smiled and said, “That was quick!” I (excitedly) responded, “That’s because you calmed down quickly tonight,” to which I was gifted a BIG smile.
Since then, the need for the calm down corner has minimized greatly and, often, just the mention of it, or the words, “You’re ignoring me,” are enough for her to start cooperating. Hallelujah!
And, beyond my wildest hopes, these days she will even happily agree with me that implementing the calm down corner was a very good thing for us (given the alternatives we had tried in the past – she’s still upset that we got rid of her purple princess piñata from last year’s birthday party as one of her previous “consequences.”
So, it seems I will be eternally grateful to America’s Supernanny – THANK YOU, Deborah Tillman (and the Lifetime network!).
Mommy In The Calm Down Corner
Now, me being me, I had to take it to the next level. One day, when Siena had successfully pushed my buttons and I was feeling angry and frustrated, I had an idea – I should go into the calm down corner!
What a great solution:
- It gives me some quiet time on my own.
- It lets my kids know that I’m having a tough time without yelling and screaming at them.
- It gives me a chance to collect my thoughts so I can approach the situation more appropriately.
- It shows them that “grown ups” need to calm down and learn to manage their anger and frustration too.
- Etc, etc, etc!
And when Siena asks why I’m in the calm down corner, I get to tell her how I’m feeling in a calm, relaxed way that she can take in and process in a more healthy way.
As you can tell, I’m a true convert. In this moment, there is a significant amount more calm in my life which I am grateful for every time I see that look in Siena’s eye which says, “I’m about to go over the edge.” Let’s just say, it’s gotten a lot easier to keep her on this side of the fence.
And, next time I find myself faced with a discipline problem I don’t know how to handle – I’m starting my research with America’s Supernanny .