Leading up to Christmas I‘ve received hundreds of variations on the following question: “What do I do when my child gives a negative reaction to an unwanted Christmas gift?” A great question for a common and timely situation. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 11 of SLAP, “SLAPPING in Mixed Company”.
By now you’ve mastered a consistent hand brandishing technique that can be used in all situations. Remember, it can be discreet but leaves no doubt that a SLAP is coming if the target behavior does not change immediately. Also, you’ve constructed a SLAP chamber (highly recommended, see Chapter 7) or designated a SLAP area of your home. The routine has been established and the child understands what will occur if the behavior continues.
If the child does not respond to his healthy fear and continues to act out, then action must be taken IMMEDIATELY!. Many new Aggro-Parents make the mistake of delaying the SLAP until it is more convenient, especially when other people are around. But delay will remove the threat of humiliation which, as we’ve seen over and over again, is a critical component of a healthy childhood. Remember: Delay and we Pay.
The child must be removed from the room and, at this point, the level of humiliation is up to her. If the child does not respond to the verbal SLAP prompt, (“come with me” or “see me in the other room”) then a swift physical response is necessary. The child is trying to take control and betting that you won’t do the hair towing or arm yanking techniques (see Chapter 5) in front of other people. WRONG! Remember, being a closet Aggro-Parent does not work! That’s like being a closet breather. Shame and embarrassment are for those wishy-washy parents who will some day watch their adult children slurp cereal milk in front of the same old family television. They will never leave! We are raising strong, successful, and grateful children. Aggro-parents from around the world are with you during moments of hesitation or doubt.