The kids have been driving me crazy lately with their “potty talk.” Mostly lots of poop and farts and other childish words thrown in to every single sentence. It was driving me crazy. I tried lots of things from asking them a million times to stop (yeah, like that works!) to asking them to go to the bathroom (“Oh mom, I won’t say it again so I’ll just stay here.”) to yelling and carrying them to their room (fun for all), but nothing was working.
Then my genius mind decided to kick it old school. Last summer a friend was telling me that she has her 8yr old daughter write lines whenever she gets sassy. Sassiness is a tough thing to discipline. I thought it was quaint at the time, but upon further consideration it made lots of sense. It was a consequence that didn’t involve me yelling, they get to practice their writing skills, maybe they would even chill on the potty talk.
I introduced the idea at dinner one night, two weeks ago. I would tape a piece of paper to the fridge and each time I heard them say something I would make a tally mark. Each morning they’d have to write the number of lines corresponding to their tally marks from the day before. Lex almost cried just thinking about it! After dinner the kids were in the living room cleaning up and someone said something and they both came running in to tattle. I told them it only counts when Alan and I hear it. They insisted on putting one line under each name. Um, ok.
The next morning they both wrote one line and went about their day. With no more potty words! It seemed to good to be true!! Sort of it was. Over the past few days Lex has had to write lines twice and neither time was much fun. Last Tuesday was a big fight (a good show for Lauren!) and this morning was a little fight. Eve also had a line to write this morning, but she did it happily. Tomorrow she has five to write! That’s the most either of them have ever had. We’ll see how that goes.
The second night we were doing this new plan I thanked them both for toning down the potty talk, but I said I was a little bummed because I was hoping they would both gets lots of handwriting practice! Lex said he could write other things instead of his lines :)
Day two he decided to make them as messy as possible. I said ok to the first one but told him the next line had to be neater. Each day he threatens all sorts of cute threats, such as “I’ll throw this in the recycling bin if you make me write more!” :)
Eve puts dark lines between her words and likes to make her “o” as filled in circles. If you don’t watch her carefully she starts to doodle all over the page :) Not bad for a four year old though! When she wrote the final R in “words” she narrated to herself, “first a bump, then a line, then a kick!”