Parents need lots of tools when it comes to controlling negative behavior, for as Abraham Maslo noted, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
Sometimes, behavior is so unacceptable, it must be stopped immediately. The STOP plan is designed for those times. Use the STOP plan when someone is :
- In danger or putting others in danger.
- Hurting another including pets
- Breaking the law
- Destroying valuable property.
- Doing something others would find disgusting.
- Stepping on your last nerve as a parent or care-giver.
Parents and care-givers have limits. The experts talk a great deal about boundaries, but mostly in terms of parents not violating a child’s boundary. Parental and care-giver boundaries also need protecting, and so “Stepping on someone’s last nerve” is included in the mix of unacceptable behaviors.
Here is how to use STOP:
- S = Say the word stop. Say it loud, even angrily.
- T = Tell the person what to stop.
- O = Offer an alternative more positive behavior.
- P = Physically forcing compliance if necessary, but add a positive even if obeying had to be forced. Physically forcing compliance if the child does not comply with your command means using you hands.
More examples of the Stop Plan
- STOP running toward the street, run to me instead.
- STOP hurting your sister, go to your room and calm down.
- STOP pulling the dog’s ears, pet her instead
- STOP crossing the street when the light is red; obey the law.
- STOP pounding the wall, go to your room and pound your pillow
- STOP bullying your brother, apologize or go to your room.
- STOP spitting on the ground, use a tissue instead.
- STOP making me crazy with that noise, go outside to play before I really flip out.
Stay In Control
Behavior that makes it necessary to use the STOP plan usually finds a parent angry, afraid, or super stressed. Having strong self-soothing skills dampens those reactions, so you can enforce the STOP Plan more calmly and easily.
To strengthen your self-soothing skills: buy my eBook Creat Calm in Your Life. Costs only $2.99 which is less than a latte.
- Use physical force carefully. With the preschooler, just sweeping them up in your arms and giving a gentle hug works. With an older child, try a hand on their shoulder. With a teen who is bigger and stronger, you may need a second person to help get compliance.
- Do not over use this plan. Lots of other tools work better and over use of any tool diminishes its effectiveness.
Thank you for all you do
Remember to share all you find of value on the internet. All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.
Post Inspiration: This post inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt: Giant.
Links of Interest
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The five components of emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- About Emotional Fitness Training (emotionalfitnesstraining.com)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com)
Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.
Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors
If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here; I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what like me. Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability, Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense. If you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.