Are you tired of listening to whining, put-downs, excuse giving, back talk, exaggeration, interrupting, teasing, gossip, or other unproductive behaviors on the part of your children? Have you had your fill of watching them talk with their mouth full; use their hands instead of silverware to eat; hit or kick siblings; waste material; or leave their belongings scattered around the house?
If so, the One-Minute Behavior Modifier is for you. This quick and highly effective discipline strategy is a verbal skill designed to modify and eliminate negative behaviors in your children by helping them learn to replace those behaviors with more desirable ones.
Chauncy, age five, and Letrell, age four, sat on the picnic table sharing a Coke. Nearby, their grandfather tended to the bonfire he had burning in the fire pit.
Unintentionally, Chauncy took a few more turns with the Coke than did his younger cousin Letrell. And when the can was nearly empty, Chauncy chugged the remaining liquid.
When Letrell picked up the can to take his next turn and realized the soda was gone, he quickly launched into a behavior he had used many times before, one that had been extremely effective for him in the past. He assumed the victim stance and began to whine.
“Chauncy drank up all the Coke,” he complained to his grandfather in a whiney tone. “He had more turns than I did. It’s not fair.”
The boys’ grandfather never hesitated. “Letrell,” he replied, “that is whining. Whining doesn’t work with me. It doesn’t work with me because I have trouble hearing and understanding what you want when you whine. What works with me is to talk in a normal voice, using a normal tone and normal volume. If you do that, sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes you don’t, but it’s your only hope.”
Having never been talked to that way before, Letrell’s eyes got big and he stared briefly at his grandfather before he changed his tone and stated in a normal voice, “Chauncy got more turns than I did and I didn’t get very much.”
Letrell’s grandfather replied, “Thank you for choosing a normal voice. That makes what you want clear to me. Sounds like you’re still thirsty.”
“I am,” said his young grandson.“Then let’s look at some options for how to solve that problem,” his grandfather suggested.
After brainstorming several possibilities, Letrell decided to go to the house and get another Coke.
This grandfather used verbal skills that were effective and time efficient. His grandson stopped whining. Both boys learned that whining doesn’t work with their grandfather and that sometimes you can solve your own problem. This successful conclusion was orchestrated by an adult who was aware of the One-Minute Behavior Modifier, as well as how to apply it with the important children in his life.
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