Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Self Correction

With Anneka turning 8 in a couple weeks, she's already coming into the 'tween' thing with a vigor. She is very strong willed, quick witted, and with a bit of a short fuse. The last couple weeks have been especially rough...having almost daily run-ins with her and her attitude towards us. She'll blurt out a comment or angry exclamation, and a nice evening turns into one big consequence.

We had a great talk tonight about something we're calling "Self Correction". I remember being a teenager and blurting out smart-ass remarks and thinking "Oh darn....I should have kept that inside my head where it belongs" but then it was too late. I remember the almost inability to control what came out of my mouth. And I thought about how as you grow into adulthood, you simply learn to restrain that type of behaviour. That's maturity.

We asked Anneka if she often regrets things after she says them to us. She nodded enthusiastically "Yes!! All the time! I think 'Doh! That's gonna get me in trouble!'" So we made a deal. When she says something impulsively that she knows is rude or inappropriate to say to her parent, she has the opportunity to quickly self correct herself by saying "OH! I'm sorry...I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry Mommy...what I meant to say was....." If she could do this, we would not punish her for the comment.

I explained to her that grownups have to self-correct ALL the time. I said that the goal is to keep those thoughts inside our heads, and respond properly...but when we don't....we need to correct ourselves because grownups don't have Mommy or Daddy's to do it anymore. "Anneka....grownups are really just kids who've learned to be their own Mommies"

Well...what a change in her! A few times she has slipped...and with lightening speed said
"Oops! That slipped out, and I'm sooo sorry Mommy! I need to self-correct that. What I meant to say more politely was...."

We had to laugh at how maturely she said it.


Brigitte said...

that is so true yvonne nice way to bring it i'll try to use it with one of my kid that is talking faster then he think.

Deanna Momtchilov said...

Brilliant! Can I teach it to a 2 year old???

Vikki said...

thank you thank you! I love it!!! We are implementing this TONIGHT!

Kristi from Canada said...

Very creative! I love the line "grownups are really just kids who've learned to be their own mommies!". That's great!

Lynne said...

That is just so cool! I agree, very creative.

Jennifer said...

You are a great mom!!! Wonderful idea!!