My Top 5 Behavior Busters for Kids Behaving Badly

By looking at this image, it appears I have well behaved children who love each other madly all of the time:

Sometimes they love giving each other hugs!

Sometimes they love giving each other hugs!

This however is not always the case. I run into plenty of instances like this too:

I don't want my picture taken. I don't care if it's my 4th birthday.

I don’t want my picture taken. I don’t care if it’s my 4th birthday.

I said I wanted candy for breakfast!

I said I wanted candy for breakfast!

I have no idea why I'm crying. I just feel like crying!

I have no idea why I’m crying. I just feel like crying!

Maybe if I make it look like a hug, no one will notice I am squeezing him too tight!

Maybe if I make it look like a hug, no one will notice I am squeezing him too tight!

This is how I feel when my sister gets too close to Mom!

This is how I feel when my sister gets too close to Mom!

You are standing too close to me!

You are standing too close to me!

It's my turn to use the bathroom!

It’s my turn to use the bathroom!

So I have compiled my top 5 secrets to stop bad behavior dead in it’s tracks! I never do any of these in public for fear that I will be committed. These are strictly for the privacy of my own home. The only one who knows about any of these is my husband and sometimes I am slightly scared he will have me committed.

Dramatic Fall. You walk into the room where the scene of the bad behavior is happening. Do a slow motion spin and let yourself fall down in the most natural way possible. Keep your eyes closed. The kids will come running to your side and at this point tickle them. They will forget all about what they were just engaging in.

Witch Doctor. This song from 1958 from David Seville (the creator of The Chipmunks) is one of the catchiest songs I know. Children as little as 1 year old love this song and if you start singing they will immediately start dancing or singing along no matter what they are doing.

The Unknown Brother. Whenever the children are being too noisy and I can’t get their attention, I say “Be Quiet, you’re going to wake up your brother Johnny.” They do not have a brother Johnny. The downside on this one is that you have to finally tell them you were just joking so they don’t go tell people that mom is hiding a secret brother.

Rain Dance. Walk into the room and start dancing like you are beckoning rain. High skipping leg motions and arms flailing wildly in the air. I don’t know if this works because they are so entranced with the beauty of the dance or that they are scared I have really lost it!

Cabaret Singing. This is my favorite. I can not sing worth a darn which makes this one even funnier. When the children balk at a certain task I channel my inner Marlene Dietrich and begin singing in a sultry, smoky voice words like, “Come put your pajamas on Baby. It’s time for pajamas to come on. Mommy loves you in pajamas. Come put your pajamas on.” Again I’m sure my children comply at this point because they are scared Mommy is on the verge of nervous breakdown.








Can I Call You Back

There is a strange phenomenon that happens every time I get on the phone. My children can be playing on another level of the house, outside or down the block like perfect, sweet angels but the moment I make a phone call or receive one they receive what can only be described as a supernatural alert signal that they must obey to.

They automatically NEED SOMETHING NOW!! They also turn into monsters that begin doing things that would never occur had I been sitting idly, twiddling my thumbs with nothing to do.

First comes the requests for water and food to stave off the dehydration and hunger that comes from hearing the phone ring. Next comes the racing through the house and games of tag follow filling the air with shrieks and loud laughing. Toys start getting thrown at one another and then the toys get thrown into the air like confetti. Complete mayhem breaks out.

I begin by trying to simply mouth the words, “STOP!”

This never works and I don’t know why I even try to use this tactic anymore.

Next, I bring out “CRAZY EYES.” I’ve explained “crazy eyes” to my kids. It’s the concept that if you see mommy’s eyes bug out of her head , eyebrows raise to the top of her forehead and her mouth pierce into a small “o” it’s time to stop whatever you are doing. This could be the point where mommy loses all touch with reality and begins screaming like a crazy lunatic and banging her head against the wall. This has not happened to date, but like I explained to my kids it is the next logical step after “crazy eyes” so do not test it.

Crazy Eyesusually works when we are in public. “Crazy Eyes” makes them slightly pause but continue on their way when I am on the phone. They know I am at the mercy of this thing attached to my head and am trying dearly to hear every word from the nurse on how to treat a rash and would never go completely lunatic at this point.

Depending on who is on the other end of the line I let them listen for a few minutes. Perhaps the dentist receptionist calling to confirm our appointment will take pity on me. Give me some sympathy. Perhaps she has grown children and is really missing those younger years. Perhaps she will offer to come over and pick up these kids and take them to the park for a few hours so I can get some much needed peace and quiet. This has never happened.

I usually just resort to the hiding. I make a break when the kids aren’t looking and go find a closet to hide in or go outside. A long conversation usually requires me seeking several different hiding spots during the course of the chatting either because a neighbor begins mowing outside or I have been found by one of the children during their stake out to find the source to end their dehydration and hunger.

During the hiding, in order to focus on the person who is talking I have to block out the fear and nervousness in my stomach knowing that there is a great likelihood I could be calling a home improvement specialist as soon as I hang up with my current call.

Thankfully for their sakes this has never happened and another strange phenomenon happens the moment I hang up the phone. Things go back to a somewhat serene tranquility. There are no more shrieks, no more blocks flying through the house, everyone is calmly walking and no one is thirsty or hungry.

Was the circus I just experienced just my imagination or do the children realize I’m no longer bonded to the anchor on my ear unable to expel real wrath. Perhaps a little of both; everything seems louder when you’re on the phone and perhaps the requests are always there but I’m not usually inconvenienced by them. Toys usually do fly through the air at our house on a regular basis but it gets stopped immediately.

Needless to say, the kids get a talking to and they solemnly swear it will never happen again….until their super sensory radar goes off again, alerting them to a phone call requesting them to obey the law of all children to drive their moms completely crazy while talking on the phone.

This is a reenactment of how a typical phone conversation is in our house. Obviously no one has ever thought to take a picture when this is actually happening! I told the kids to act how they normally do when I’m on the phone…they played their roles well!