What is a Stop Drill, you ask?
It’s like a fire drill, and just as important!
Here’s how to conduct a Stop Drill.
Buy a couple of bags of your favorite candy, snack, or dime store rewards/stickers. Go into the yard or living room or basement to set up the exercise. Ask the kids to line up at the opposite end of the room from you, like they would to play red light/green light. Now, explain that every time they obey your command to stop the first time they are told to, they will get a treat. Commence issuing directives, including sudden STOPS. You’ve just completed a Stop Drill.
Note: Popcorn makes a great reward for Stop Drill practice, since you can give one piece each time the kiddos respond correctly without filling them full of sugar.
Before you start an Stop Drill, remember that its best to reward right behavior, and move past wrong behavior rather quickly. If the kiddos don’t respond properly to your commands, or they fail to respond, don’t give up. Keep trying. Practice makes perfect.
Here’s why Stop Drills are important:
Three-year-olds get lost in big box book stores, AND half-blind Grampas can’t keep up with said three-year-olds when they book it outta there at full speed on those wee chubby legs of theirs.
When a three-year-old decides to break ranks and run…
The perpetrator laughs.
Voices call down aisles. “Where are you?”
Junior is lost!
Still giggling, gleefully. Rotten kid!
Panic sets in.
Have you been there?
This post is not about the fear, the relief, or the reprimands associated with losing a child in a big store. Well, maybe it is a lil, but it’s also about preparedness (and humor, always humor). It’s good to bring a little levity into frightening conversations, right?
But seriously (or not), Stop Drills are about next time.
They’re about conditioning kids in a way that teaches them to do what we say, when we say it, so that when we yell DUCK, MOVE, or DID YOU HEAR ME?, they will act…out of instinct, and for their own goodness and safety sake.
How can practicing Stop Drills help you live a happier life?
1. First, Stop Drills stop “why” questions in their tracks. No longer do you have to say, “because I said so,” every time you want your child to stop doing that.
2. Stop Drills condition kids to stop, thereby helping young’uns learn how to instinctively respond to your directives.
3. Stop Drills relieve parents of worry when their kids are operating outside of arm’s reach, but still within screaming distance.
4. Stop Drills make it less likely that your child will be hurt, especially as hurt pertains to kids running into the street unaware of the danger a busy street implies.
5. Stop Drills reinforce the need to be safe through obedience.
Remember: You can train an old dog new tricks, and young pups are even easier!
In conclusion: If Stop Drills don’t sound right for your situation, you can do what I did when my kiddos were little. Tell them if they go near the road you will 1. Spank them, hard. 2. Let the pigs get them. Hey, no judging. My methods worked and that’s what matters. ;)
Have you ever lost your child in the store or the park? What were you taught to do that you do without thinking these days?