We’re a theatrical family but you probably won’t see our names in lights. Our skits would probably bore most people but have been saving my sanity for years.

As a new parent, I quickly learned that yelling “Come here right now, young lady!” usually resulted in my strong-willed toddler taking off in a dead run the opposite direction. So we decided to practice by acting it out at home rather than the grocery store parking lot.

I would stand on one side of the room and say, “Please come here!” And I wasn’t above bribing my child with her favorite toy. When she ran into my arms we celebrated with kisses and cheering. Then we would practice without a toy to bait her.

It worked!

Thirteen years later our family is still role playing:

  • How to approach a teacher and admit we made a mistake
  • How to defuse drama with a friend
  • For my child with processing issues, we make a skit to teach hanging up the bathroom towel, putting our shoes away and other everyday tasks
  • A child with the bad habit of slamming doors will spend five minutes opening and gently closing doors

In our skits we not only practice the desirable behavior, but also explore “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” in a situation. How do we react if that teacher yells at us when we admit our mistake? Or what will happen if we never put our dirty clothes in the laundry? (No, son, you may not go to school naked.)

Learning obedience in a calm setting helps it to become second nature in a tense situation!