Monday, April 26, 2010

Red Light/Green Light

Here's a little hack for all you moms out there.  We went to the Indianapolis Children's Museum today, and they have a giant 5 story ramp in the middle which, on uncrowded days like today, just screams "RUN DOWN ME!  RUN DOWN ME AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!"  

Well.  Obviously this is awesome, because it makes them tired.  But I don't like it when my rugrats get too far away from me, because then I can't see them and I get all anxious.  I mean, if they're the length of a quarter of a ramp ahead of me and it's not busy, whatever, but if they're 3 floors down, we have a problem.

Today, instead of yelling, "Stop," which I normally yell, I yelled, "Red light!" and they stopped dead in their tracks!  When I got closer I said, "Green light!" and there they went.  It was like a game, instead of like me constantly nagging them to do everything, and because it was a game they were much more willing to follow the rules.

I didn't try it, but I might threaten, "you have to stop when I say 'red light' or you LOSE!" next time.  They hate losing.  I can't imagine where they get that.

So try it on your next outing.  It's magic.


RobMonroe said...

I shout "FREEZE!" and Abby will freeze in this silly position she saw in a Signing Time video. (which includes the sign for "freeze" of course.) It works and always gets a laugh from other folks in the grocery store.

Heather said...

With Amelia, we shout "stop!" but then ask her to do things while we catch up, like "wiggle your bunny tail", "hop up and down," "spin in a circle", stuff like that. Once we catch up, we say "okay", and off she goes again.

My personal favorites are "belly dance" (we have friends who are belly dancers so she likes to fake it) and then the sequence of "stand on one leg - now stand on the other leg - now stand on no legs!" and watching her come up with solutions.

What's great is watching spectators who think we're about to yell at our kid when we say stop, who then start grinning when we add in the instructions.