Tip of the Month: Do-Over


When things are not going the way you planned and you want to try and quickly get back on track, call a Do-Over! Like when you’re trying to get out the door for a day of family-fun and you’re just as giddy as the kids, but no one is listening, and you keep reminding them about what you’ll miss if you’re late, but they ignore you and start fighting and you yell and show anger which you immediately regret and in that moment, the day you’ve been looking forward to is now in shambles.

Here’s how to call a Do-Over:

  1. Breathe, get back in the moment and call it. “Do-Over! Let’s try this again.”
  2. Connect. Try to see things from your child’s perspective and let them know you get that they felt (e.g., rushed, overwhelmed, anxious, etc.) Apologize if you overreacted and said/did something you regret.
  3. Make sure your child is onboard. Be careful not to come off as dismissive, but rather, hopeful for a fresh start.
  4. Allow your child to be the one to call it. If your child’s the one who request the chance to re-write a more positive script, it’s also a positive. Do-overs create an opportunity to reconnect and to practice behaving in ways we all wish we had the first time.

Explain this opportunity for your children and let them know a “Do-Over” is a chance for everyone to re-write the script. To Start Again. Make it fun or dramatic when you call one. Like, “Yikes! This doesn’t feel like the super fun day we’ve all been so excited about, does it? I say we get a Do-Over! What do you think? Let’s try this again! Who’s excited for today?! I am! I can’t wait to see all the costumes. What are you excited about?!
Do-Overs offer a concrete strategy to turn things around and begin again. When the child tries again and has success, the brain literally begins to form new pathways that become stronger as this positive behavior is repeated time and time again.

-Dr. Aliza Pressman

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