141: Use This Ninja Tactic to Cut Down on Your Child’s Bad Behavior – A Your Child Explained Episode

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

During Tuesday’s guest conversation, mom and author KJ Dell’Antonia shared the results of a pretty big (1000-person) survey of parents she commissioned as research for her upcoming book.

The thing that parents worry about most?
“Discipline,” KJ shares.

Discipline enters into many aspects of our parenting lives.

It’s firmness in enforcing rules; consistency in keeping routines established; being good models for our children.

During our conversation, I share a lesson taught to me long ago, in my first years of teaching, about “not moving our kids’ walls.”

KJ was so taken with this idea that she quotes me in her blog this week!

Click weturnedoutokay.com/141 to listen, and to read about how moving our children’s walls creates the bad behavior we really don’t want to see.

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Moving our kids’ walls is another way of expressing the importance of consistency.

(And consistency is… One aspect of discipline. We’re back to that again, my friend.)

Here’s what KJ wrote in her Week 3 Chore Challenge blog post about moving walls:

I was a guest on Karen Lock Kolp’s “We Turned Out Okay” podcast today, and she said something very insightful (which she attributed to an older teacher who was part of her teacher training earlier in life):

“If you tell a child you expect them to do something, like put away the blocks every time he’s used them, then that’s sort of a room you’ve created in his brain, where things work a certain way, where there are certain walls. Then if some of the time, you let him leave the blocks without putting them away, you’re moving the walls. And nobody likes it when the walls move.”

When we’re inconsistent, when we keep changing the rules (or enforcing them only sometimes) – were moving our children’s walls.

It’s very scary for them when their walls move.

When children are scared, they will react in any number of ways: with tantrums, whining, tears… In short, behavior that we don’t want to see. In shorter, bad behavior.

That’s why this idea of not moving their walls is so important.

I love it because it starts with us; our consistency – or lack of – is what really matters here.

Of course, that’s why I also hate it; it puts the responsibility squarely on me to be consistent!

If that can happen at least most of the time, believe me, it will be enough.

Key Links:

Click here to read KJ’s Chore Challenge blog post.

Click here to join her chore challenge!

Click here to check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child. Not moving our kids’ walls comes up in here – because it’s a great ninja tactic! Read my book to learn more about this one, and many other ninja tactics that will help you in your parenting every single day.