The Rewind Tool has quickly become one of my favorite tools in the Teamwork Parenting Approach. This tool gives both parents and kids the opportunity to try something again when, in the heat of the moment, one of us loses our cool. Instead of issuing consequences or angrily punishing our kids when they yell at us or say something they don’t mean, we can simply and calmly “rewind and try that again.” And if WE as parents don’t handle ourselves respectfully the first time around, we can do a rewind-and-try-again too. It’s basically an immediate do-over…an on-the-spot practice tool with the goal in mind of demonstrating and practicing how to handle any real-life situation in a respectful way…as a team.
The Rewind Tool gives you the opportunity to model respect to your kids and expect respect from your kids. It allows you to put your positive parenting energy into your kids doing the RIGHT thing instead of just issuing consequences all day long for the wrong things.
Have a mentioned how much I love this tool? But what does it look like in every day real life? Here are several ways to apply The Rewind Tool in your family:
- if your child says something disrespectfully to you or to a sibling, you can say: “Can you please rewind and try that again with respect?” (You can make this kind request until they get it.)
- if you lose your cool or yell at your child, you can say: “Wait. That wasn’t respectful. My apologies. I’m going to rewind and try that again so I can do this respectfully. You deserve that.”
- if you both lose your cool, wait until everyone is calm, then go speak to your child: “Wow. Neither one of us handled ourselves in a respectful way. I’m sorry for my part. And the right thing for you to do would be to apologize to me for your part. (Hopefully apologies with forgiveness and hugs are exchanged.) Now, can we try that conversation again so we can respect each other this time?”
- practice The Rewind Tool in non-angry moments and give them a “heads up” that you are using this tool to help you work as a better team so that your kids will be prepared for when you say, “Let’s rewind and try that again, please.”
- IF YOUR CHILD REFUSES: It’s OK to wait and rewind later when everyone is calm: “It’s OK that you don’t want to rewind now, but we are going to rewind this so we can get it right. Let me know when you’re ready.” You can even add a firm boundary: “Nothing else in your day will happen until we do our rewind so we can both get this right and show each other respect.” (which means no TV, no electronics, no snack, etc.)
Honestly, I don’t even remember what happened or what we were arguing about, but my oldest and I were in the heat of it. He said some words. I said some words. And I angrily lashed out and took away a privilege and then realized that it wasn’t really necessary. We were both in the wrong. Neither one of us was respecting each other. We were angry, frustrated, and disrespected each other unnecessarily. He stomped away to his room and slammed the door. I was mad at him, but I was also mad at myself for not handling myself properly. I took some deep breaths, reminded myself of my position of loving authority over my son, and my role as his coach. Taking away a privilege was only going to build walls. Instead, I wanted to build his skills (and mine) for how we can better handle conflict in the future. After calming down, I went to his room and gave him a hug. “Thank you for getting some space before we said more things we didn’t mean. We love each other. And we weren’t showing respec for one another in that argument, were we? Do you feel calm enough to rewind and try that again?” When we did it again right away, we were able to practice a calm and respectful discussion in which both of us felt valued, loved, and heard. We were able to solve the problem as a team and find a solution that worked for both of us…none of which would have happened otherwise. I’m loving The Rewind Tool.