Tag Archives: uh-oh song

Mommy’s Uh-oh Helper

28 Sep

I have a fun little “uh-oh” story for you this morning.

We are having a relaxing morning at our house. We’re hanging out in our pj’s just having fun. As I sat on the couch drinking my coffee, Levi (16 mos) came over to inspect the basket of folded laundry that hasn’t made its way up the stairs yet.

First, he pointed at it while he looked at me and hopefully nodded “yes.” (That’s how he asks for permission.) Then he touched a few individual pieces of clothes. (Testing!) I told him, “Mommy wants you to leave it in the basket.”

Next step: he started to pull a stack out of the basket. At this point, I invoked the “uh-oh song” and put my coffee down. I kid you not, by the time my mug had hit the table, the clothes were stacked back in the basket just as neatly as you could expect a 16-month-old to accomplish such a feat, and the little man was on to lesser mischief.

This sunny “Love and Logic” moment is the perfect companion to our rainy, relaxing morning. I hope you have plenty of these in your home today, too!

Unexpected Side Effect

25 Aug

Today I discovered a wonderful, although completely unexpected, side effect to all of Levi’s “uh-oh song” training.

(Quick review of “the uh-oh song”… Baby does something I don’t like.  I pick Baby up, sing “uh-oh,” and take him to a place where I can confine him… a kid-safe bedroom, a playpen, the exersaucer, whatever.  I keep him there ’til he calms down plus a couple minutes, and then he gets out.  Hug, kiss, all done.  Repeat as needed.)

Levi has actually figured out a way to ask for permission.  I guess he figured out that it is easier to ask first than to serve “uh-oh time” later. Now, maybe I’m slow to catch on, but I did not think that a 15-month-old baby could learn that kind of cause-and-effect, nor that level of self-control.  I never saw a shred of it in Jaxson ’til later in his life… but then again, we didn’t have the uh-oh song at that point in his life, either.  So how does Levi ask for permission?  He gets my attention, points at whatever he’s asking about, and nods his head “yes” with a hopeful look in his enormous brown eyes, as in “say yes, Mom, please say yes!”  Believe me, it’s cute.

How do I know he’s asking for permission?  If I say “no” to his little request (which is nearly impossible with all the cuteness, but it happens), he actually leaves it alone and does something else.  No joke.  The first time, I thought I was imagining it.  Then he did the same thing TWO MORE TIMES today.  I seriously thought that I must have taken a trip to baby behavior heaven for awhile there.

This sweet little success story is all I have for today, friends.  But after that… who could ask for anything more?:)

“All Done! All Done!”

22 Aug

It’s no secret that I love the uh-oh song.  Levi, however, is a little less fond.

Yesterday, as I started making supper, he decided to help by playing with the knobs on the stove.  I set the limit once — removed his hands and told him “no, no buddy; leave those alone.”  What did he do?  Well, he’s 15 months old.  Of course he went back to them.

I picked him up as I sang “uh-oh!” and we headed to the exersaucer (our pre-planned place of uh-oh confinement).  As soon as his feet were off the floor, he started signing “all done! all done!”  I had to laugh!  “I bet you are all done, buddy!” (He still went in the saucer.)

The best part of this amusing little story is that he really was all done.  He served his “uh-oh time” and hasn’t touched the stove knobs since.  What a sweet boy!:)

The Uh-Oh Song

6 Jun

Ok, so I’ve been a little busy for the past… 2 months?! Eek! Is that really how long it’s been since I’ve posted?

I noticed that my frequency of blogging decreased significantly when Levi became mobile.  It flat-lined shortly thereafter, but for a really, really good reason: Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun!

We just finished a round of ECPMF at the Valpo YMCA this spring.  It was excellent!  The material is funny, oh-so-practical, and very methodically presented by Jim Fay and Dr. Charles Fay of the Love & Logic Institute.  We saw some great outcomes in the homes of the class participants.  I was and am truly honored to have been part of such a great group.

One of the most useful tools, it seems, is the “uh-oh song.”  How does it work?  Let me play out a scenario from my house.  When the baby (toddler) turns the TV off, I sing “uh-oh!”, pick him up, and gently deliver him to my pre-planned place of “uh-oh” confinement.  The playpen or exersaucer works perfectly. I let him stay there ’til he calms down, and then a minute or two after.  Then I take him out, hug and kiss him, and we go on with our day.  If I repeat this consistently and without anger or frustration (that’s why we sing “uh-oh,” it helps to keep us calm), then eventually, my baby will learn to not turn off the TV.  In fact, he will learn that the word “uh-oh” means he better stop whatever he’s doing.  He will learn to turn on a dime at the very sound of my little song, and I will be amazed at the level of self-control that my very young child can learn when given the chance and held to the expectation. [Don’t believe me? I dare you to try it.  I mean really try it.  Make a plan, visualize it, rehearse it in your head, and then put it into action, and repeat it as needed.  It works.]

Scenario B:  My 3-yr-old just made a poor decision and did something that I did not like.  (Take your pick.  Go ahead, be creative… it’s probably happened. ;))  I sing, “Uh-oh!” and follow it with, “How sad.  Looks like a little room time.”  I whisk him away to his room and leave him in there ’til he calms down, and then for a few minutes after that.  If he comes out after me before he’s calm, I close the door.  If I need to, I lock it or hold it closed (and I make sure that the room is SAFE before I do this).  When he comes out, I give him a hug and kiss, tell him that I love my sweet boy, and we go on with our day.  After some practice, this little boy will also learn to come running, declaring his intent to cooperate and be sweet when he picks up a hint of “uh-oh” on the tip of my tongue. (Not every time.  He’ll still test that limit every so often to make sure it’s still there. But most of the time…. glorious cooperation.)

There you go! Sounds simple, right? Well, it is and it isn’t.  It’s a simple concept.  The key is that you use it consistently and without anger or frustration. That, friends, takes practice.  Thankfully, these little people provide lots of opportunities for me to practice, and we have seen the fruit in our home.  I have heard many stories of similar fruit in other homes.  That is awesome!  Way to go!

Want to know more?  Check out our follow-up round of Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun! this summer at Bethel Valparaiso.  I dare you! ;) Email me (erin@positiveparentsnwi.com) for the details.  In the meantime, happy singing!:)


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