By Megan Moursund, MA
For trust-based parents, the idea of the “redo” is as familiar as it is powerful. This quick and effective strategy works with toddlers and teens alike. A rambunctious three-year-old snatches a toy from her playmate, and the trust-based parent swoops in with, “Whoa, sweetie! Can we try that again with respect for your friend?” Then the redo ensues, with parent coaching the child to use words to ask for what they want. A moody teen replies to a request to clean up his room with a scowl, and the trust-based parent might reply in a similar way: “I want to hear you, could you try that again with respect?” And, with any luck, he rethinks his response and chooses to comply or ask for a compromise.
Calling for a redo allows connection to be maintained as power struggles are minimized. The parent offers their child the opportunity to learn by doing before the situation escalates and the opportunity for deep learning is lost. Parental monologues on the virtues of sharing and respect and please and thank you may be filled with valid points. We somehow become great orators when children enter our lives! But, the glazed eyes and unchanged behavior of the recipient prove the point often made by Dr. Karyn Purvis: Motor memory trumps cognitive memory.
As trust-based parents, one goal of any correction is that it be action-based. We want to maximize learning by creating body memory for “the good stuff.” TBRI research has shown that 70 – 80% of problem behaviors can be solved at this level of playful engagement where adults are connecting, empowering and teaching proactively. Those are compelling numbers, but there is an even more compelling reason to use the power of the redo as parents.
Our Father God is the ultimate trust-based parent, and Easter could be considered the ultimate redo. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” John 3:16-17 MSG
This season, we can reflect on God’s grace in offering each and every blundering human being on the planet forgiveness through His Son. It is a gift of eternal connection that we could never deserve or earn. A gift that changes us from the inside, out, and empowers us to live a whole and lasting life.
How has the power of The Ultimate Redo changed you? How might offering the gracious gift of a redo change your child? We would love to hear your thoughts!
Suggested Resources: http://child.tcu.edu/resources/