"If; when your child does something "bad," you feel bad about it, your child won't. "

Disciplining With Tickets When Grandma Comes to Town


I just got your book, "The Well Behaved Child," and today I began using tickets (and Alpha speech) for my just 5-year-old son who is very loving and sweet but would be considered a "high misbehaving" child - disobedience, arguing, interrupting adults, demanding, bossy, and aggressive with our 2-year-old son. My husband has been deployed for 3 months (still 3 to go, so I recognize his need for attention and loving care is high), but we had these same issues before dad left. We have family visiting in waves for the holidays. He had been doing okay with behavior prior to the holiday visits. How should I approach our upcoming visit in a week with grandma (who will be coming A LONG way for just a few days)? Should I put the tickets on hold? He lost all tickets by 12 noon today and screamed at the top of his lungs during his time outs when he lost a ticket. Thoughts?


Hello, and thank you for your question. Since grandma is coming to your home for the visit, I recommend staying the course with implementing the tickets and alpha speech. Since you are just getting started you don't want to set a precedent that your rules change depending on who is in the room. You might want to preface grandma's visit with a phone call to let her know that you are working through some discipline issues with your son and that there may be times that your son has to spend some time in his room if he loses all his tickets etc. I also suggest having this same conversation with your son. Let him know that just because grandma is coming to town does not mean the rules and losing tickets go out the door. Using Alpha Speech let your son know that you expect him to be on his best behavior when grandma is in town and tell him that you explained to his grandma the ticket system so she will understand what is going on if he loses tickets and is sent to his room. Most kids are excited to spend time with their grandparents and are embarrassed when they get in trouble in front of them, especially if they don't get to see them very often. Hopefully, your son will be motivated by her visit to be on his best behavior so that he won't have to miss out on any time with her. Stay the course, be consistent, and don't lose your cool. You are still the one in charge, even when grandma comes to town. Please reach out if you need further guidance and have a Happy New Year!

Lisa Woodman
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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