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Old 03-19-2005, 01:57 PM   #1
greenemama
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Default help me with my comfort corner

i've never really used one effectively so i'm wondering if those of you who have found success with theirs could share what they've done, what it looks like when kiddos need to go there, and what, overall, you have found to be successful about it.

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Old 03-19-2005, 04:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

UUUUUmmmm usually I just put her in the chair with some books... Im not really super creative or whatever about it. I just say "okay, you need a break" and she is able to calm down that way. She cannot stand me being near her, so its not really a cuddling time or anything like that, me touching her or being near her annoys her even more.

not much help am I?
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Old 03-19-2005, 04:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

oh, what it looks like when kids need to go there... I do it when she is just getting amped up about things that really, there is not anything I can do about and I dont want to be "held hostage" by her outburts.
For example: when she starts really pestering her brother and she starts growling at him, or hitting, or taking toys away. No matter how much I am trying to "teach" appropriate ways, shes just locked in to this negative head space... she just needs a break. Sometimes he will pester, we can teach through it and its fine, no chair needed.



sorry Im so bad at explaining things
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Old 03-19-2005, 04:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

okay, i'm ready to get a comfort corner.
is there a sticky with the basics/ how to/ when to etc that i could look at?
do you use it where a time out used to apply?
my middle one needs something like this in particular, but i'm not sure how to 'do it'. so that it doesn't feel like a time out to him or me.

tia
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Old 03-19-2005, 04:51 PM   #5
ArmsOfLove
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

there was a sticky--it's gone was going to get a new one up and might just use this thread

Basically, a comfort corner is any space that is in the living space but not central--I've seen them in corners, under stairs, at the end of a couch in a family room, in a room off of the main space, etc. Some people with little room will designate a chair or area to be the comfort space. In an actual comfort corner you can have your child(ren) help with interior design. Include things like pillows, child sized chairs, books, tapes and headphones, stuffed animals--the things that bring comfort to them and will help them relax.

When my kids get obnoxious or stuck in some negative behavior, uncooperative, etc., then I would say to them, "Hey, take a break in the comfort corner." If they resist then I use the Five Steps and helping means I go there with them--cuddle, read to them, sing to them, etc. The one big rule is that the poor behavior is never discussed in the comfort corner.

The child can come out when they think they are ready to rejoin the group and be cooperative/respectful/whatever. If they misjudge then they get to go back until they are ready.

Does that help?
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Old 03-19-2005, 05:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

Ours is a nice, comfy recliner in the living room, but off to the side. I have a small pillow and afghan there. We have books and stuffed animals.

When Rebecca stops cooperating or hits, I tell her "it's time to go cuddle" and I will take her to the chair and cover her with the afghan. Sometimes I will sit with her, other times I will let her sit by herself. Sometimes she gets a snack, other times not. It really helps her settle down so she can talk about what is bothering her. She has, out of the blue, apologized for her behavior. I don't ask her too, though.
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Old 03-19-2005, 06:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

We have a rocking chair in the corner of their room next to the bookshelf. Honestly, though, I use whatever quiet spot is closest - recliner, couch, dining room chair, even a step stool in the kitchen. As long as they can be still and I can see them it works for us.
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Old 03-19-2005, 06:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

I did want to say that being still is not something required in the general comfort corner--just calming down
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Old 03-19-2005, 10:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

i see. it's more like a *time in* than a *time out.* meaning, not punitive, obviously. and is a totally positive place to be.

when *do* you discuss the behavior? before? after? do you at all? specifically with a 2.5-3 yo spirited boy.
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

It sounds like a great idea to me! The question is...how do I sell dh on it when he will only accuse me of rewarding bad behavior? He still is struggling with GBD - he laughs hysterically when I offer to help ds do something I've asked. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-20-2005, 08:44 AM   #11
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

Good questions all

I usually find that I don't need to specifically address the behavior--usually the child will actively reconnect, often including unsolicited apology, when they come out feeling better. Remember, it's based on the principle that people who feel good, act good Although, I might prompt certain children or on certain days with, "I think we should reconnect before we go on. That was really rough on me. Is there a way you can make amends for what happened back there?" Otherwise I try to be like the father of the prodigal son and run to them as soon as I see them coming, and hug them, and then we go on together through the day

I am working on character development all the time and I really believe what Becky Bailey says in "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline", which is that you get more of what you focus on. For this reason I try to not focus on the negative behavior. I might comment that I am enjoying them more when they come back with a good attitude, or thank them for cooperating as they do. But I focus my attention on when they are behaving well. I also would actively work on teaching to any chronic issues we're struggling. I love pulling out my KONOS books and doing a week or two of focusing on a character issue that we need some attention on. It's a backdoor approach that is less resisted by children (and adults) and as I teach how *to* behave, and fill their mind with God's thoughts and my own on a subject, it takes root and grows into better behavior.

As for the idea of rewarding poor behavior, If you aren't actively high fiving and saying "awesome" about their poor behavior then you aren't rewarding or encouraging it. I've never thanked my child for yelling or said that if they did I'd give them ice cream But if I come over and you've been having a bad day and not behaving well (maybe grousing or yelling at the kids, not doing your responsibilities around the house, etc) which would you prefer me to do:

1) "I'm disgusted at the way you've been behaving today. Your children deserve better than this. What kind of a mother do you think you are? You need to go into your room for 30 minutes (1 minute per year ) and really think about how bad you are. I will come and get you in 1/2 hour and then I will be nice to you."

or

2) "Wow, you're having a bad day. How about I watch the kids for a bit and you go get a cup of coffee and take a break Come back when you're feeling better and if you want to talk about what's going on we can do it then."
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:59 AM   #12
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

Quote:
"I'm disgusted at the way you've been behaving today. Your children deserve better than this. What kind of a mother do you think you are? You need to go into your room for 30 minutes (1 minute per year wink ) and really think about how bad you are. I will come and get you in 1/2 hour and then I will be nice to you."
okay, this is hilarious.

i've really been reminded A LOT lately that we are to treat our children as we treat other adults. and as we want other adults to treat us. and as we want our children to treat us. thanks for these reminders!

i've had unsolicited apologies before, so i know what you mean by that. but sometimes henry just starts apologizing for stuff that's silly, he's just talking and not really apologizing for anything -- nothing needs to be apologized for. and sometimes i think he's just saying he's sorry because it's been modelled to him, not because he knows what he's saying. i do request apologies, saying something like, "would you like to tell mommy you're sorry for X" and he nearly always says he's sorry. i guess asking like that, IMO, is encouraging good skills, not making him apologize, kwim? off subject, i know. but i guess it applies because the cuddle corner *is* a disciplinary tool, isn't it? and it's best to be teaching kiddos that an apology should follow an offense, right? mostly through modeling, but does prompting hurt?

are there times that you insist a child go to the cuddle corner, even though they resist? is this a normal occurance, to resist it? henry will tell me, "i don't want to sit here!" and he'll be screaming, etc. i understand you say you use the five steps to get them there, so i'm assuming that the cuddle corner is not optional. is it perceived as a time out if the child doesn't want to go there? does it matter if the child finds it a negative place to be, even though it really is not a negative place, even though there are comforting things there, etc.

thanks for bearing with me. i'm hoping to *really* work on this these next few weeks. dh is intrigued and impressed with the super nanny's naughty step and i understand why -- it really works to mention the naughty chair and get good behavior. so i want an effective alternative that he won't find permissive.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

If they resist, then I go with them. And I ask them how I can help them get in a better mood. IOW, I make it a positive place to be and realize that their resistance is because they are feeling bad. So I work hard to help them feel better. That looks different for each child.
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

We haven't had to use the Comfort Corner for awhile with my oldest, but there was a period of time where we were dealing with lots of outbursts (and were coming out of a punitive streak) and I found it so helpful.

Dd's comfort corner was a rocking chair in my bedroom. She was allowed to have whatever she needed to get her calm, but I generally offered her books, her baby or another stuffed animal, her blankie, and food or drink (since I think some of her outbursts were and still are related to low blood sugar). Anyway, if she was getting out of control, I directed her to the comfort corner. (It was never, "You're being bad, you have to go sit there.") We talked a lot about the comfort corner when she wasn't in the comfort corner so that she would understand that it was a safe place for her to get control of her big feelings. There were a few times that she resisted and I had to carry her there, but this was still done in a gentle, respectful way - "You're having a hard time right now. Mommy is going to help you with your big feelings." I always gave her the choice to be alone or have me stay. At first, she always wanted me to stay and I think this is because we had used negative time-outs at one point. When she realized that this was for her benefit (and not a punishment) she almost always chose to be alone. I always brought her water (screaming makes your throat sore, LOL!) and tissues to wipe her tears and this was beneficial for both of us because she felt nurtured AND it brought out the nurturing in me because sometimes being nurturing was the last thing I wanted to do!

HTH! This is one of the best tools in my toolbox!
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Old 03-20-2005, 05:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: help me with my comfort corner

Crystal, I didn't mean still as in "You must sit and not move". Just "You need to stay here until you've calmed down." It just doesn't work for us to have a comfort corner in another room most of the time.
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