Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dear Supernanny,

Yes, I know you are a world-renowned expert on parenting. As a parent who has religiously watched your show from the very beginning and who has the utmost respect for you, I have employed many of the techniques you have taught on your show, such as the naughty chair, getting down to my child's level and speaking to them in a calm but stern tone of voice to get their attention, "consistency is key", and the roaming technique.

For the most part, I have been successful.....up until recently. I think perhaps my kids are bored with the old techniques. They are smart little boogers...smarter than I give them credit for. So I have found that I need to keep one step ahead of them, especially when it comes to showing them who the REAL boss is.

So I've had to come up with some new techniques in helping me deal with some behavior problems I've encountered. Let me share a few of them with you....

1) The "I've got my eye on you" technique (this replaces the "naughty chair" technique): Like most kids, my kids hate doing time-outs. It's a constant battle to get them to stay in the naughty chair and, with 3 other children to watch over, I don't have time to sit with the naughty child and make sure he/she stays in time-out. You can bet if I take my eyes off of my other kids for even a millisecond, someone will end up with....I dunno....say, a cracked skull requiring staples or a seashell shoved deep in their ear requiring forceps to remove the shell.

There's no easy way to explain the "I've Got My Eye On You" technique so perhaps a few pictures will suffice....


And for the one child who is especially bad at staying on time-out....well, he simple requires "I've got BOTH eyes on you".


Sure, you and I both know that those are just silly little googley eyes that are used on various art projects....but my kids, for as smart as they are, actually believe that I can see every little thing they do when I'm not even in the room. "I've Got My Eye On You".....seriously, you should recommend it to some of your parents. It works.

2) The "Freezing cold hands" technique: Okay, so I've tried the whole "get down to their level and speak to them in a calm but stern voice" thing in order to get my children's attention. It used to work....now, not so much. First of all, I can't even get them to respond to me when I call their names. Then when I finally do get a "huh? what?" from them, they still refuse to pay attention to exactly what I'm saying. I say "please focus on what I'm saying to you" and they practically laugh in my face. So I knew I had to come up with something better than that.

The "freezing cold hands" technique is easy. When you want your kid's attention but your requests fall on deaf ears, simply fill a tall glass with ice cold water (go ahead, put some ice cubes in it to make it even more extreme), wrap your hands around the glass for about 10-15 seconds until your hands are freezing cold....then walk over to your apparently hearing-impaired child and place your hands under his shirt on his nice, warm skin (preferably on his sides because that seems to be the most sensitive area). I can pretty much guarantee with all certainty that you will now have your child's full attention. Do not remove your freezing cold hands until your child has repeated back to you exactly what you have asked of him.

3) The "Always keep them guessing" technique: Yeah, yeah, yeah....consistency is key, or so they say. What I have found is that with my use of consistency, my kids have learned what to expect from me. That's the point, right? But while consistency may work for most parents, it hasn't been a good experience for me. My kids still continue to challenge me, no matter what, even though I've stuck to my guns, consistently.

So in order to stay ahead of the game, I've had to mix things up a bit. You know, keep them on their toes...always keep them guessing. Say, one day I tell them they can absolutely NOT wear sandals to the park....they fight me tooth and nail on this, whining repeatedly "but why, Mommy?". Then the next time we go to the park I say "sure, go ahead and wear your sandals". They're shocked...they didn't see that one coming at all. "Hmmmm, what did we do differently this time that made her say 'yes'?", they wonder to themselves. They are almost stunned into silence, leaving them without the ability to argue with me. They simply comply with whatever I say, due to extreme shock.

With this technique, they never quite know what to expect and when you do say yes to something that you normally would say no to, it completely throws them off. Believe it or not, it leaves them hungry for more inconsistency. The kids will have fun with this one. It almost becomes a game of sorts, but I'm always the winner, even if they don't realize it.

4) The "They know where their bread is buttered" technique (this replaces the roaming technique): I've watched you teach parents the roaming technique over and over again on your show. Parents are always in awe that their kids will actually stay close to them if they simply tell the kids they can walk next to them without having to hold hands BUT if the child starts roaming off and doesn't adhere to the loud verbal "stop" that the parent screams out, the consequence is that the child must then hold hands with the parent. However, most of these parents didn't have multiple kids, let alone two sets of twins all under the age of 4. While the general idea of your roaming technique is lovely, I find that it doesn't necessarily work for those of us who have a lot of kids, especially young ones.

The "they know where their bread is buttered" technique is a sure-fire way to keep your kids next to you at all times. Here's the idea....take, last week for instance. The kids and I met up with a friend and her kids at the park in the late afternoon. As it was time to leave, I announced to my kids that everyone needed to make their way to the mini-van. Next thing I knew, only 1 kid was heading to the mini-van...the other 3 had completely scattered about, totally ignoring me. My friend said, "I love how they just run off in different directions..." and I said, "that's okay...they know where their bread is buttered" and I started walking to the mini-van without the other 3 kids. When they realized I wasn't going to hunt them down and chase them all over God's creation, all 3 of them came running after me, screaming, "Mommy, mommy.....wait for us". My friend just looked at me, smiled and said, "Oh, you're good....you've got it down pat". No further explanation needed on this one, obviously.

So, you see, Supernanny....sometimes you gotta teach an old dog new tricks. You gotta mix it up....be the best at your game, know what I mean? Please feel free to borrow any of these techniques if you'd like....but just remember to give me a shout-out on one of your shows sometime. And if you ever find yourself in need of more fabulous new ideas....I'm your girl!

Peace out.....

58 comments:

Manic Mother said...

You are too funny! lol!

Meg said...

Oh am so going to use the googly eyes. Mine would freak out !

too funny!

Yaya said...

Helene, you are brilliant! These are awesome! Hahaha! You rock! You should totally write a book!

The Mother said...

You gotta work with what you've got. And no mother has four hands.

(I've always been convinced that that Hindi goddess had the right idea. Women should grow at least one more pair of arms while pregnant. And maybe a pouch, like kangaroos. They can slough off when the kids turn eight. Or maybe twenty.)

The most important thing we have that kids don't is BRAINS. And you clearly have been using yours.

Booklover1212 said...

I LOVED reading this! This came in such a timely manner, as my 4-yr. old really has been challenging me lately. I'll have to try your techniques and let you know how it goes!

~ Jennifer
http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com/

Nikki B. said...

ooooh...the cold hands technique! i LOVE it!

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

dropping by from SITS... those google eyes are too funny.

Lani said...

Those are just awesome! I am so going to remember those tricks! The Supernanny could learn a thing or two from you!

with.much.love said...

These new 'rules' are too funny! I am so going to have to remember the googly eyes for when I have kiddies of my own some day! That is genius!

Morgan said...

I do that too- just start to leave. Most of mine are old enough that they know they'd better get going when I say it's time.

I might have to try the freezing hands technique- I have one child who gets so involved in an activity, he totally tunes me out. Cold hands might get him to listen a little better!

Kristina P. said...

You are hilarious! I will have to remember these for the future.

Heather Happymaker said...

OMG this is the frickin most hilarious post I've ever read! I'm going to mail this out! lol!!!!

Kim said...

I am so with you on the "bread is buttered" technique. Trust me, daughter, you don't want this momma coming in that slide after you.

Kathy B! said...

I, too, love the bread is buttered technique. Your techniques are fabulous, but the way you describe them is priceless. I agree with PP, you should write a parenting book.

Shannon said...

I remember the days of toddlers and preschoolers. I kinda miss them.

Note I said "kinda". lol

I don't do the googly eyes, but my kids, even at 8 1/2 and 11 1/2, STILL believe that I can will eyes to pop open from any point on my head, thus why I can see them even when I'm not looking at them. And when they try to find the eyes and can't, I simply tell them they are very well hidden and the only other eyes that can see them are other adults eyes. Of course, that helps when hubby plays along. lol

Amy said...

Love this. I want to do the cold water thing on my husband.

Amy W said...

I do the last one quite often actually....and like Shannon, my girls also seriously believe that I have eyes in the back of my head. :)

LYIS said...

Amen, sista! I feel like a bad mom when thousands upon thousands of timeouts have not rendered the behavior we're shooting for. Silly Supernanny.

The eyes! SO funny. Today during a class 5 freakout, NOTHING would calm my 2 year old down. I ended up spraying him with cold water from the sink. Is that too much??

Karen said...

Love the googly eyes!

And I remember my mom pretending she was just going to leave me behind on several occasions. It worked every time!

wife.mom.nurse said...

Awesome parenting tips! Joe is sure to use the googly eyes...yes I am sure of it.

I am a #3 and #4 gal! Love those two ")

As always, great post!

Ms. Modest Fashion Cents said...

These tips were rather entertaining. I've watched Super Nanny a few times myself. I've tried just about every "trick" anyone's ever put out there - dealing with Autism though is like living on another planet! Every "trick" I've tried on my son - he's done the same thing back to me!

Jenny said...

LOL! I may have to try that "eye on you" trick!

Just a conservative girl said...

This is too funny. You are very creative. But, I guess you need to be with four little ones. Following you from MBC

Buckeroomama said...

You totally cracked me up! I love the googly eyes technique and might just try that one, if I can keep a straight face while putting the googly eyes on them. :)

Alicia said...

That is too funny!!!

When they think I am really leaving, that's when they start running too!! LOL!!

parentingBYdummies said...

You could give that nanny chick a run for her money any day. And, the whole naughty chair thing, it should totally be abandoned. I just duct tape mine to the wall. Kidding! Or, am I? I'll never tell;)

Veronica Lee said...

Love the googly eyes. You are one brilliant mom!!

Tami said...

Helene, you have me in stitches! I love the eyes on the forehead! BRILLIANT! I'm laughing so hard I'm cryin!

GAMZu said...

I attest to the "bread is buttered" technique. LOL! It really works great. :)

Dorkys Ramos said...

Go with whatever works, I say! The googly eyes are hysterical. Hopefully it doesn't give them some weird complex later on. Visiting from SITS!

The Daily Dean Chronicals said...

Agreed! We need a few new twists on old tricks! I love the eye on you! I need that ASAP!! Thanks for a great laugh!

LauraC said...

Love the "bread is buttered" technique! Awesome! I think I'm ready to start trying that with my boys.

Jennifer said...

Here, here!!! She doesn't know EVERYTHING! LOL!

I'm going to have to follow your lead on some of these things... ;-)

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

You are so darn cute, I could just squeeze you!

Jen said...

Fabulous, absolutely fabulous!

Mrsbear said...

I'm totally using freezing hands. My kids have developed some sort of selective hearing that totally cancels out the sound of my voice. Genius. Supernanny's got nothing on you.

jungletwins said...

Well I must say, as the youngest of 5, I really wish my mother had introduced the googly eyes instead of the naughty chair. I swear, I spent my entire childhood in the naughty chair. None of this one faddish one minute for every year of life business, I was in it for the long haul. I'm always impressed that your humor and creativity seem to thrive under child-induced stress whereas others would end up bitter and boring. You go, Supermama!

Creative Junkie said...

I absolutely LOVE the googly eyes! If I had known of that technique, I would have decoupaged them all over my kids.

newlyweds said...

Ok you should totally write a book. the thought of going out alone with the boys, still scares me, let alone all 4 kiddos. Love this.

Sharlene said...

I use the bread is buttered technique daily. Its a keeper. Oh and I have would also like to suggest the "flick em in the head" technique if you are ever in a time pinch or don't have any ice around to use the cold hands.

Lora said...

this is a riot.
cold hands are an oft-used technique in my house. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only mean mommy!

ParentingPink said...

Oh, I LOVE the "googly eye" technique! I am so stealing that one from you! I LOVE, LOVE this post - it's one of your best ones yet (and yes, you have many!). I am working on getting my Parenting Pink site totally updated (new design, etc) and I would love to have you "guest post" sometime this summer. I think my readers would love your "mommy style!"

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Hahaha! Genius. Love the googly eyes. I've tried the fake-out ("See you later! I'm leaving now!") with my son. It doesn't always work, but sometimes.... Great ideas!

Onna@toddlercraft said...

You do crack me up!! I love the googly eye technique!! I might have to try that!! The "you know where your bread is buttered technique" is one I use to and it completely works!! You go girl! Hope Super Nanny is listening!

MoodyMommy said...

Oh, that is the best!!!! I am gonna use the eye on you bit!! I love reading your blog!!!!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

I already use technique #4, although sometimes I have to go as far as cranking up the car (especially w/ the little one)! And I will be making a stop at WM this afternoon for some googly eyes!
My children might even drive Supernanny to drink!

Fearless Mom said...

you should get your own show.

Zeemaid said...

I love it.. i can't wait to tell my husband. My eye on you technique is totally cool, as is the cold hands too.

Way to go mom!!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

You are totally my hero!

The High Family said...

You are the QueenMum!

Ryan acts EXACTLY like your 4 year olds...I just post mostly
"happy times" on my blog. I need to do a post named "reality" someday and include all the screaming, back talk, and ignoring that this smarty pants 3 year old gives me on a daily basis.

I will be using these new techniques...I swear he will fall for the "I've got my eye on you!" one hook line and sinker!

How do you think up these things?!!

ps- I would love Super Nanny to visit my home (no cameras please)and teach me how to be patient and not scream bloody murder when Ryan gets into his three year old attitude moods!

lvlc said...

Loved the "I've got my eye on you" one! hahahahahahaha
Is true.. even when they are super smart, they are still innocent and they believe everything!

I have my version of the bread.. I say BYE out loud and just go away. He's got to the point that I mean it! :)

Sharon said...

Ohhhhh! The googly eyes are GREAT! I busted out loud when I saw the pictures! I may just have to try it!

I realize this is an older post but I was reading through your blog and love it! I've got an award waiting for you at my blog! Come and pick it up! Keep blogging! :)

disa said...

伊莉討論區,伊莉論壇,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,plus,痴漢論壇,維克斯論壇,情色論壇,性愛,性感影片,校園正妹牆,正妹,AV,AV女優,SEX,走光,a片,a片免費看,A漫,h漫,成人漫畫,免費A片,色情網站,色情遊戲,情色文學,麗的色遊戲,色情,色情影片,同志色教館,色色網,色遊戲,自拍,本土自拍,kk俱樂部,後宮電影院,後宮電影,85cc免費影城,85cc免費影片,免費影片,免費小遊戲,免費遊戲,小遊戲,遊戲,好玩遊戲,好玩遊戲區,A片,情趣用品,遊戲區,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆,遊戲基地,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,遊戲口袋,我的遊戲口袋,小遊戲區,手機遊戲,貼圖,A片,A片下載,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色貼圖,情色,色情網站,色情遊戲,色情小說,情色文學,色情,aio交友愛情館,色情影片,臺灣情色網,寄情築園小遊戲,情色論壇,嘟嘟情人色網,情色視訊,愛情小說,言情小說,一葉情貼圖片區,情趣用品,情趣,色情漫畫,情色網

Christina said...

I am another late commenter, but I couldn't resist! When I scrolled down and saw that eye on the forehead I thought I was going to wet my pants. That is one of the funniest things I have ever seen, and I mean it. I'm still laughing and I think I will go to sleep laughing about it. Thank you for that.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Great ideas! I like the cold hands one! I'm sharing about this on my Friday "Things I Learned This Week" post at www.zemeks.blogspot.com with a link back here. Great tips!

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

S Club Mama said...

this is fantastic. I think I may employ these techniques. Except for the eyes, time out works so far but I'll put it in my bag for later.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Through the years I have found that the technique of every now and then doing something completely crazy will keep them off guard just enough that a threat will work. They never know if it's true when you say you will come to school and follow them around all day just to make sure they aren't using the same word they called their sibling last night that starts with a.. hole when speaking to someone. They never know when you may slam the car to an abrubt stop and fling yourself over the seat arms flaying about to get anyone you can. That unexpected bit of insanity has worked for me for 33 years. Love the google eyes and the ice cold hands strategy is brilliant. I think I can even still try that on my teens. Thanks.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
Blog Design by Likely Lola