The Blog

try THIS when your child misbehaves

If you’ve got a child aged 2 – 12, here’s a great 3-step system that you can use starting today to quickly correct “bad” behavior.

(We’re going to need an example here, so let’s say that the behavior you want to change is that your child doesn’t listen when you ask her to get ready to leave for school / daycare / the park / etc.)

Here’s exactly what to do:

Step 1: Sink to her level… literally!

It’s important to remember that our kids live in a weird world, where there’s always “grownup” stuff happening about 3 feet over their heads.

Think about it… Adults are always “up there” talking to each other about stuff that is totally boring and irrelevant to kids. Jobs, budgets, gossip about neighbors, etc. So they tend to naturally filter out a lot of what happens “up there”.

So if you have something you REALLY want you child to hear (in this case, “Please go put your shoes on”), then it’s important to actually walk over to her, get down to eye level, and tell her what you’d like her to do.

Step 2: Use the magic word.

Nope, it’s not “please.”

It’s “because.”

As in: “Go put your shoes on BECAUSE we need to leave for daycare in 3 minutes.”

Why? Well, toddlers and young kids have a TERRIBLE sense of time and urgency. If you tell them to put their shoes on, there’s every chance they’ll hear you… and then “file” that request away for when they’re done whatever it is they’re doing at the moment.

(This is why, when we finally lose our cool and yell “Go put your shoes on NOW!”, our kids usually say something like “I was just about to.”)

Using “because” gives your little one some context and lets them understand that this is something that has to happen right away.

Step 3: Have an immediate consequence ready.

If you’ve followed these steps and your child still isn’t getting her shoes on, do this:

Walk over to her again, get down to eye level and say “Please get your shoes on right now BECAUSE if you don’t I will have to send you to your room with the door closed for 5 minutes.”

You’ve gotten down to her level, you’ve used the magic word, and you’ve told her exactly what will happen if she doesn’t listen.

IMPORTANT: It’s absolutely, completely, 100% necessary that whatever consequence you threaten, you’re willing and able to follow through on! That’s why I like to use specific, immediate consequences (like “you’ll have to go to your room for 5 minutes”.)

Threatening something like “No dessert for a week”, isn’t immediate (it won’t affect your child until after dinner), and chances are you’ll probably forget about the consequence anyway.

And once your child figures out that you don’t follow through on your consequences? Let’s just say you’re in for a long couple of decades!

I’ve got a TON of other great information on dealing with common behavior problems in kids ages 2 – 12 I’d like to share with you. It’s all waiting for you in a complete online resource called

Kids: The Manual
And for the next 2 days only (until Thursday, January 22nd at midnight), I’m giving you an extra special reason to get started:
Kids: The Manual Discount Offer Expires on Thursday
To happy families,

Baby Not Sleeping Through The Night?

Get One-On-One Help!

Yes, The Sleep Sense™ Program is a great Do-It-Yourself guide for solving your baby or toddler’s sleep problems!

But if you’re looking for full-service, one-on-one help, I’m here to help!

The Sleep Sense Philosophy

Cry-it-out? Coddle? Co-sleep? Attachment parenting? Ferberizing?
If you’re going to let me help you with something as precious as your child’s sleep, you probably want to know a little bit about who I am and exactly how I think...

Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

  • Free Baby Sleep Class: Tip #2

    Welcome to Tip #2 of my free baby sleep class! If you missed Tip…

    View Post
  • Free Baby Sleep Class: Tip #3

    Welcome to Tip #3 of my free baby sleep class! If you missed Tip…

    View Post
  • Free Baby Sleep Class: Tip #4

    Welcome to Tip #4 of my free baby sleep class! If you missed Tip…

    View Post

Client Testimonials