“Let’s try that again” is a phrase heard daily at our house. With 6 kids in our home, we are always looking for simple ways to correct our children’s unwanted behaviors without always seeming like we are correcting them. One great tool we use is to simply have our kids redo a behavior. It is amazing how well it works, and how quickly kids catch on!
Redo’s are a wonderful tool for reshaping behavior. They help a child feel successful and activate motor memory.*
Here’s what a redo looks like at our house.
A child comes running into the house and slams the door behind him. Mom says, “Whoa! Let’s try that again. Please go back outside and walk into the house without slamming the door behind you.” Then the child goes out and does the correct behavior.
A child yells at another child and calls them a big meany for not letting them have the toy they want. Mom overhears and say, “Hey that’s not a kind way to speak to one another. Can you try that again with good words?” Ideally the child will redo it with something like, “I don’t like it when you don’t share. Can I please use that toy when you are finished?” If the “redo” is not said in a kind way, mom will help the child by giving an example of a kind way of speaking.
Keys to making this tool effective are:
- Keep your voice upbeat and kind.
- Try to refrain from lecturing the child about why what they did was wrong.
- Be sure to “redo” it until the wanted behavior is achieved. (This is especially important when using with disrespectful or unkind words. We don’t want them to continue practicing it wrong.)
- Praise your child for doing it correctly! (even if it took 10 times!)
I know this seems so simple, but it is really very effective too. We have been doing this long enough with our kiddos, that often times they will “redo” it without even being asked.
Have you tried this with your kids? How did it go?
*p.98 The Connected Child by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. Davis Cross