I just read this blog and it had some great ideas. A few of them we have already been doing, but several were new to me. Here are three of my favorites:
* "Yes Mommy" - Since I started encouraging the kids to respond to requests with "Yes Mommy," they suddenly seem to respond faster. There's something psychological about that phrase that commits them to doing whatever I've asked them to do. When I ask Kaylin to return a stolen toy to Ryan, she has a tendency to stare at me and smile, but when I leadingly say, "Yes Mommy..." and she repeats it, she hands the toy right over to him.
* "Coming..." - When I call someone's name and they're somewhere else in the house or have wandered down the aisle at the grocery store, I've gotten them in the habit of saying, "Coming, Mom." Same concept as "Yes Mommy" - it commits them to come when they're called.
* Taking turns - I read somewhere that until 3 or 4 years old, kids don't get the concept of sharing. So I've tried to use the term, "Remember to take turns" instead of "You need to share." Pre-schoolers seem to understand that better. Then a few weeks ago, my friend Lee taught me the greatest phrase EVER, which I've had my kids repeat again and again. This has saved us from countless battles and kept things from escalating into a war zone. "When you're done, may I have a turn?" Even if child #2 answers "no" to be snotty, I always remind child #1 that the answer has to be "yes" because child #2 isn't going to play with the object for the rest of time. Period.
There are other great tips on the blog. Check it out--if you're like me, you'll be encouraged. :)