October 26, 2008

My favorite brain washing technique

I had forgotten how much I used to have to do this. Last night Hannah didn't listen when I gave her instructions on cleaning up the bathroom (tub toys, towels, etc). When I expressed my displeasure and reminded her of her task, she started grumbling and arguing (good "typical behavior", but completely unacceptable).

I held up my hand up like a policeman (stop!), and said, "I'm sorry Mommy, I'll do it right now." Instantly, she repeated what I said and then, joy of joys, she did exactly what she said. The job was done within a minute and everyone was happy again.

I used to have to do this much more when she was younger. I think it started when she was about 3 or 4 years old. If I couldn't find her (in the house--which room? Upstairs or down? Where are you? I need to hear your voice!), I needed her to answer me. So we started playing a game, "Here I am!". This transfered to answering quickly when she might go out of my sight while shopping. It's fun to play hide-and-seek in the clothes racks....at least for her, but it doesn't make a Mommy happy.

By giving her the words I needed to hear (or needed her to learn to say), and modeling the polite way to say them, she has learned to "listen and do". Everything from "Yes, Mommy, I'm coming." to "I'll clean up now." It's like magic. Once she actually says the words, it's like it is her idea, so she does what she says. I've shared this with some other parents who have children with Down syndrome and it has worked for them too. It's not foolproof of course--our kids are too smart and, shall we say, stubborn, for it to be 100% successful. But it has worked more often than not.

2 comments:

Wendy said...

What is even better than mommy brain washing technique? A well brain washed Hannah coming to stay with you and then in turn brain washing my girls for me!!

Hannah fed Carley all the right phrases to say when I would tell her something or ask her do something which was FABULOUS.....
This saved me from having to do it AND I GOT AN OBIEDIENT CHILD WITH NO EFFORT ON MY PART!!!

YAHOOO.....Beth I am sure glad you did such a great job with Hannah!! LOL :-)

Kate said...

haha, I think you got it from Daddy.... "YES, Dad."