Modeling Behavior

Ian is the family scapegoat.

If you’re having a bad day and need to control something, he’s at the age where he misses a lot of details.

He forgets to empty his backpack and hang it up after school. He doesn’t always get himself a snack when hungry. He plays on the computer too much.

So if you need something to control, just look around the house or at Ian and you’ll find something out of place. One night at dinner Ian was “corrected” 10 times in 10 minutes!

  • Sit down
  • Go get the ketchup out of the fridge yourself
  • Pass it to me first
  • That’s too much ketchup

That’s once a minute!

Guess how many times anyone else was corrected?

Well I didn’t count, but it probably rounds down to zero.

So for the past couple of months I’ve worked hard at NOT correcting Ian.

Like our “three-rule-summer” experiment teeth are non-negotiable. I still remind him of things (chores, screen time, stopping for food, getting late) but I don’t force them. Isn’t it more fun to just pause in the middle of the day and have a bowl of ice cream together than to fight about things?

I mean he’s a GREAT kid. He draws and explores and learns and runs and jokes and creates and really does a pretty good job of picking up after himself and is a dedicated cleaner-uper when needed.

So over the past couple of months I have seen my efforts to give him more freedom pay off, both in terms of how well he can take control of his own life and I’ve also seen a small (but noticeable) drop-off in how often other people “correct” him.




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