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Gentle Face February 21, 2008

Posted by The Mom in Uncategorized.

There is another new entry immediately below this one but I wanted to keep them separate.

This morning, while lying in bed, I realised that D has a clenched jaw EVERY TIME he fights doing something, hits me, throws something etc. It was an eye opening realisation. So today we started “Gentle Face”. I showed him what an angry face (clenched jaw which he can talk to me through) & a gentle face look like and asked him to show me what they look like. Every time his jaw was clenched I asked him to show me a gentle face please. Dressing, which normally takes 30 minutes and involves him throwing his clothes away & physically attacking me, today involved him helping out, putting on his socks etc and was over in less than 10 minutes with NO physical violence.

Every single time I asked him for a gentle face he stopped lashing out, throwing etc and when he did I thanked him and told him I was very proud of him.

Early in the morning he was standing on his chair at the toaster and I told him that I wanted him to stop turning it on. He didn’t so I told him that if he touched it again I would set the timer & not talk to him for 3 minutes. He stopped. I asked him to get down and he said he was just waiting for the toaster. I again told him I would set the alarm & not talk to him and he promptly got down off the chair.

I know it could all be different tomorrow but it was such a change.

Gentle face & putting myself in time out have had a greater response than anything else we have tried.



1. Ruth - February 22, 2008

Hurray for success! Hope today goes equally well 🙂

2. Susan - February 23, 2008

Wow…well done to both of you.. I mind 3 toddlers and I have to say, when you find something that works to stop the ‘naughty toddler’ moments, it makes SUCH a difference. I must remember ‘gentle face’, our equivilent is please use your “big boy’ voice” and it stops the whinging instantly, without fail.

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