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Old 03-22-2010, 03:29 AM   #1
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Default Collected Past Posts about the Five Steps

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Title: The Five Steps
Post by: ArmsOfLove 03-17-2005 10:18 AM
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The Five Steps Technique

The Five Steps are a technique developed by Lisa Kuzara-Seibold, Minister of Early Childhood Education at Word of Grace Church in Mesa, Arizona. I had the amazing opportunity to mentor under her while employed by the Department of Early Childhood Education as a Sunday School Teacher. This example of The Five Steps is an adaptation of what is taught in her training manual.

Step 1: State your request and offer a reason.

Example: "You need to stop yourself from playing and clean up. It is time to leave."

Step 2: Restate your request.

Example: "You need to stop yourself from playing and clean up."

It is helpful to get down on the child's level and touch your child while looking in his eyes to make sure you have his attention.

Step 3: Offer help.

Example: "You are having a hard time stopping your play. Can you stop playing and clean up or do you need my help?"

Whether your child requests help or not respect their wishes. Help is not a punishment, it is help.

Step 4: Help.

Example: "You are not stopping your play. Here, let me help you."

Again, help is not a punishment. It is an acknowledgment that your child is unable to stop on their own. This may be due to a lack of maturity, being tired or hungry, or simply not wanting to stop.

Step 5: The Bear Hug.

Stand behind your child and wrap your arms over her shoulders and across her chest. Hold her arms with your hands if you are concerned about her striking out. Squat down to her level and speak gently in her ear that you are helping her stop herself and that you will let her go when she can stop herself. Gentle pressure on her shoulders can keep her from kicking or attempting to run from you. This is not a punishment. It is providing outside boundaries for a child who lacks internal boundaries.

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jammomy 04-04-2005 10:31 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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Crystal,

Thanks for posting these on this board.

My 3.5 yo ds actually likes the bear hug! "Mommy, hug me like that again!"

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ArmsOfLove 04-04-2005 01:06 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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One great game we play around here that I got the idea for from Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen is to put the child in the Bear Hug and talk about how they can't ever get out, they'll never get away. Then allow the child to slip out while you continue talking about how it can't happen. Then pretend to notice that they got away and ask in astonishment, "How did that ever happen??? How did you get away?" and repeat with increased seriousness of the hold. . . "This time I'm going to put you in my Super Duper Bear Hug! No one can escape from this!" My kids could play this for hours

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TxMama2Cody 04-04-2005 07:49 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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How long do you wait between each step?

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ArmsOfLove 04-04-2005 08:28 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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Long enough to give them a chance to comply but not so long that thy forget the instructions It also depends on what we're doing. Let's say I need them to clean up their room because we're going to be leaving. I might pop in and do the first step, "You need to clean up the toys. We will be leaving in a few minutes." And then I'm off to take a 5 minute shower and get dressed. Pop back in and do step 2, "You need to get everything cleaned up." Then I'm off to do a few more things and finish getting ready and then I come back and offer step 3, "You're having a hard time cleaning up. Can you do it yourself or do you need my help?" If they say they can do it themselves I stand there and watch them get started and then might pop out and do something else and check back to make sure they're cleaning. If they say they need help or I check back to find them playing I stay and, "Here, let me help you," and get them organized and cleaning. but let's say we're getting someone dressed. I will stand with them and step 1, "You need to put your shirt on. We're getting dressed now." Wait a beat. "You need to put on your shirt." "Can you put your shirt on by yourself or do you need my help?" wait a beat "here, let me help you."

does that help?

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TraceMama 04-05-2005 12:14 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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Thanks for the realistic look at the five steps, Crystal. I have them posted on my fridge and really need to start using them every day, but never knew how to time them. Thanks!

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godsgracegiven 04-05-2005 05:30 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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hehehe, I have them psoted on my fridge too, and sometimes I carry them around with me. I need a post card to put in my pocket. I must look silly to my kids, like I am reading a script or something...lol!!

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ArmsOfLove 04-05-2005 07:06 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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that's great maybe I should sell a laminated wallet card

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godsgracegiven 04-06-2005 02:17 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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A laminated wallet card would be great!! Then I could carry it in my purse too!! I might look strange to the other on-lookers in public but hey, atlest my kiddos will understand.

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LauraK 04-09-2005 09:29 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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you could sell them on a magnet for the fridge as well!

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Lois 04-11-2005 05:57 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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was just demonstrating this to a friend today!

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purplerose 05-03-2005 07:58 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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Thanks for posting this! I neeed to print this out! This is a lot like the Love and Logic style of parenting too! You give the child choices, and then help them decide! I need to print this out as well! YES, sell them on a fridge magnet!!!

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Jillian 05-12-2005 08:02 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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I have a question, and please don't take it the wrong way, I'm not trying to be flip. I this site and find myself nodding in agreement to almost every one of your posts, this just caught my attention.

I'm just wondering why it says to "state" a request, then goes on in the example to "tell" the child what to do. Do you recommend asking first? And then telling? Or just telling right away. Thinking about this situation (and with my highly spirited/sensitive 3 year old in mind), I would probably tell him when we got there when we'd be leaving. When that time rolled around, I'd already given a warning - "it's almost 3 o'clock" - just a bit before to let him know we were getting close, at 3:00 I'd say "it's 3:00, we need to clean up our messes before we go" then I'd probably just start cleaning up - either the babies stuff, my bags or the toys he was playing with, to model what he needs to be doing.

What do you think how I would handle the situation is communicating to him? I don't really tell him what to do, more like tell him what is expected of him. Would that fall under the philosophy of GBD?

Thanks so much for any input

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ArmsOfLove 05-14-2005 02:08 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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that's actually how I handle many things with my children--group actions and encouraging cooperation But there are times when I need to give instructions and my children need to do things and I *ask* them to do it only if their compliance is optional. Otherwise I tell them what they need to do. If we are out in public I might say "we need to clean up" but then as we're cleaning I might say, "Dd, you need to grab that there and hand it to me; Ds you need to get that toy and put it in the bag; etc" With my 3yo I make it as fun as possible and encourage him in the ways that he responds to, but I also see this as a time where I'm teaching him what is his responsibility and no one else's--and cleaning up his toys is *his* responsibility. *He* needs to do it. I help, I model, yet I this wording is to teach.

hth

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Jillian 05-14-2005 03:16 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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Okay, I get it now We ask too, only when compliance is optional. I like how you break it down pointing out to each one a job that needs to be done.

Along the lines of it being his mess, and he needs to clean it up...can I get your advice on that? Sometimes our little scenerio works, sometimes it doesn't. Mostly the times it doesn't, I will clean up ds's stuff instead of turning it into a power struggle out in public. I deal with it as a seperate issue at home, rather than try and *fight* him when he's feeling emotional about not wanting to leave, or whatever it might be. What do you think about that?

Thanks for your thoughts

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ArmsOfLove 05-15-2005 04:41 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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I try to work on things at home until they are ready for them out in public--is that what you mean? If the *issue* about leaving out in public is the big feelings and cooperation at leaving then I focus on that until they are ready for the next step. Meanwhile I make it a group effort to clean up even if I'm doing most of it. Out in public for clean up I expect much more from my 7 and 5 yo's than I do from my 3yo

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My Little Saint 05-27-2005 02:35 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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Ok, this works... until I get to the step where I start helping him get the toys cleaned up or his shirt put on. He starts jumping an screaming and throwing a fit. I bear hug him and start to speak in his ear, but he just screams louder at me and get REALLY mad What do I do? I hate time outs, but I am resorting to them. HELP!

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ArmsOfLove 05-29-2005 04:55 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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keep holding him. tell him you will help keep him safe until he can keep himself safe. maybe try letting him go and see if he stays next to you and calms down. If so, that's fine, just hang out with him and tell him you're ready to hug him when he's ready to get a hug. If he's violent at all then bear hug him until he calms down. It's not always a quick thing--he's having big feelings. I tell my children "I am bigger than your big feelings. I will keep you safe. I love you even when you don't feel lovable." things like that.

It might also help to back up when he *starts* getting upset and give him another chance to do it himself without help. One of my children realizes that he's waited too long and feels like he's failed and the greatest act of grace I can offer him is to give him one more chance to be successful. Since that is the goal anyway, I don't mind at all

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My Little Saint 05-29-2005 11:14 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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Thank you! I'll keep trying... It sometimes is so difficult to know how long to wait, should I let him go into a full blown tantrum? Should I give him what he wants? I know it takes time, it's just frustrating.

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ArmsOfLove 05-29-2005 11:45 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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So much depends on the situation . . . and you can't prevent him having big feelings, but you can actively teach appropriate reactions (in and out of the moment). If you don't mind giving him what he wants then I say give it to him and don't say no--if you change your mind when you realize how important it is (like if you were saying no because you didn't think it was a big deal but would be inconvenient) then take responsibility and say you are changing your mind. If you mean no then mean no and don't give in (that is what creates tantrums in older children ).

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My Little Saint 05-30-2005 01:59 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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You are so right!!

He does have BIG feelings. I don't want to prevent them as much as I want to understand and guide them in a way that is godly and convenient for him. I don't want him to have problems at school and be labeled the problem child. I know he is only 2 1/2, but I am a teacher (2nd grade), and I see this happen daily.

Does changing my mind give him a feeling of uncertainty or inconsistency? I feel I change my mind because, as you said, I say no because it's inconvenient, not something I really mind. Thank you and I apologize if I'm bombarding you with all these questions, he is at an age that honestly, I just don't know what to do 70% of the time.

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ArmsOfLove 05-30-2005 02:19 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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It's okay You might get more responses if you start new threads for some of these questions, but I will say that changing your mind won't create insecurity or be inconsistency unless you present it as such. I usually say something like, "I see that this is more important to you than I realized. I don't like how you are talking to me. I have decided that I'm willing to give it to you. Can you ask me in a more respectful way so that I can feel better about this decision?" and then I help them be successful about asking pleasantly.

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My Little Saint 05-30-2005 04:57 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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That sounds wonderful!!! I never thought of it that way! I would have to use much simpler language, but I think it will work. I will start new threads so that I can get out of your hair! Thanks again, the "hug" is well received.

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ArmsOfLove 05-30-2005 05:08 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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You are not in my hair at all I just don't think most people check new posts on this thread and I want you to get more advice

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red_head_angel 07-17-2005 04:04 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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I have been trying the five steps with my son. The first two days were wonderful. The third, not so much. I just didn't want to follow through. Of course, my 4 year old waits until I ask for help. The answer is always "Yes". Even if it is something as simple as picking up something from the floor. Is this normal or is he testing me? Also, it seems that we end up in the bear hug once daily. He struggles and fights me. I tell him I am holding him, but he is the one hurting himself since he is fighting me. He is also trying to bite my arm, scratch, kick, and spit on me. How do I handle this? It seems to go on forever. I tell him to stop fighting me and stop whinning so I can talk to him and then I will let him go. Am I doing this correctly? By the time we have done this for a while, my 15 month old gets upset, cries and tries to get in my lap, turn my face away from Noah and such. How do I handle his fears while I am bear hugging his brother?

Thank you so much for all the wonderful information and gentle discipline ideas!

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ArmsOfLove 07-17-2005 05:01 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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The other day my 3yo was in a mood and said I was hurting him with the Bear Hug (hurting his feelings, not his body). So I held out one arm and said, "See this arm? This arm LOVES you! (crossing it over him) It's going to hold you until you can be safe." (holding out other arm) "See this arm? This are LOVES you! (crossing it over him) It's going to hold you until you can be safe. I am holding you surrounded by my love. Hear my voice? (whispering) My voice loves you. It's going to talk to you until you can calm down." Then we cuddled for a bit

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red_head_angel 07-19-2005 12:00 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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I am proud of DH. He came home during the Bear Hug struggle that I have been having. He came in and watched for a while. He told Noah that Mommy would let him go when he was still. That kept going for a while, so DH took over and Bear Hugged Noah so I could tend to Aden. He settled down really quick with Daddy, no fighting. Then he went to clean up. He tried to get Daddy to 'help', but Daddy wouldn't. ( ) He told him he made the mess and needs to clean it up. Of course, No argument and all was done. I am just thankful for Daddy backing up Mommy.

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staceysue22 08-11-2005 10:40 PM
Re: The Five Steps
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Do the 5 steps really work? What do you do if they just wait until you offer to help? I've always taken the approach that if they can do it themselves, then they need to do it themselves. I don't want them to grow up waiting for someone to help them with everything. KWIM? I just worry because my mom did everything for me, or helped me with everything. Now I hate doing things on my own..I'm having to learn to be independant. I don't want my children to be the same way.

Stacey

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ArmsOfLove 08-12-2005 12:36 AM
Re: The Five Steps
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Actually, when children know that something is expected of them, which the first step makes perfectly clear with *you* need to do , then when they can they are very quick to do it themselves. Most children don't want help unless they really need it. Knowing you are there to help if they do need it helps them to be more confident Helping is also very different from doing everything for them.

Last edited by GCM_Sticky; 03-22-2010 at 03:47 AM.
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