WFMW-The Vulcan Grip

I love The Vulcan Grip.

It's not a power tool or a new workout routine.

It's my new parenting move.

Sounds serious, huh?

Well. It works.

Have you ever been in a store, church, Dr.'s office and your child is disrespectful or on the brink of the worst tantrum ever?

In those moments, I'm usually at a loss.  I'll whisper a threat thru my clenched teeth or give them the evil eye.  But really, if I don't want to make a scene, I'm sort of at their mercy until we get home and I can deal appropriately with their behavior.

It's frustrating and I feel like a failure.

But now I am equipped. I learned a trick thru Grace-Based Parenting for moments, just like these.

It's called The Vulcan Grip.

And my kids? Oh, they fear it.

Here's how you use it:  The next time your in public and your child is about to lose it, you QUICKLY grab them FIRMLY by the arm (near their arm pit by the shoulder) and march them SPEEDILY to the nearest restroom or outside.  (You are not pinching them or hurting them physically in anyway, but you are getting their attention).

This distraction throws them completely off-guard and gives you the upper hand and it speaks volumes to their current behavior. I've stopped tantrum in mid-throw with this move. I then whisper in their ear and address the behavior. 

It works (so well, that I've only used it twice because now even the evil eye has new meaning)!

{Thank you for joining me for WFMW! You can read the guidelines here.}

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Living with Lindsay said...

I am SO going to need to remember this when we go to my son's 3 year old check up tomorrow morning. There's nothing like the waiting room of the doctor's office that makes him act insane.

Kirsty said...

Oh yes! I am such a believer in that fearsome trio: evil eye, urgent hissing (accompanied by evil eye and clenched teeth) and the speedy "immediate escort" out of wherever you are followed by evil eye, hissing and clenched teeth. It truly does re-establish who the boss is ;) Shock and awe, baby! We do what we must do :)

Bridget said...

No WAY! I made it in the top 5!!! Woo-hoo! :) I was just about to go get pj's on and thought I'd refresh one more time. :)

Love the Vulcan!

Sarah said...

Oooh, great idea! I am going to use that. Although my daughter will probably start screaming, "MOMMY NO! Don't spank me!" Really loud. I'll let you know!

La said...

There's another move that's similar that I think is taught by Dr. Dobson. (can't remember for sure.) You grab the back of their neck and hold it firmly. It is very uncomfortable and it most certainly gets their attention! I have to be careful though because my 8 year old son is always convinced that I'm "choking" or "strangling" him. In those moments, I'm tempted to show him what strangling really looks like. ;) (totally kidding. i do not need therapy!)

Amy@ MomsToolbox said...

Hmmm. Sounds much better than yelling or feeling totally exasperated. I'm in!!!

Jenny said...

LOL at the name..Vulcan Grip. It sounds so scary.

Maria D. said...

Whew. I was relieved to see the end of the post! I definitely had visions of pointy ears and fainting children! :-D

Kirby3131 said...

I have used this move on my niece - she thought I was a pansy because I'm not her mom. Ha! It was awesome. I remembered that trick from when I was the one being hustled to a corner by my mother.

Amber @ Classic Housewife said...

Love this!

Similarly, my hubby just taught me a serious whisper in the ear trick for when they are disobeying during a phone conversation and I don't want to holler. Give them the look, crook your finger and beckon them to you, then lean over and right in their ear with a "I AM DEAD SERIOUS" whisper, "you will do/stop doing this right now or you will get this consequence DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" And then the look again.

It works! Who knew? My hubs is so smart. =)

Totally tucking this away for those crazy grocery shopping trips. WAIT - does that mean no more THAT family Wal-mart experiences? =P

Natalie said...

ha. the first thing i thought, my dad used to do that but he drug us by the ear. at least with this method no one will call cps on me! thanks for the tip!

Karen said...

I used this armpit technique a few times tonight. My son was refusing to follow instructions and to clean up his toys. It didn't help that he couldn't fall asleep for his nap today. The arm technique gets their attention and helps to steer them in the right direction.

Daiquiri said...

Oooo - love this tip! I do something similar - sort of by the back of their neck. Doesn't hurt them at all, like you said, just lets them know I mean business. But with the neck thing, they always sort of cower down to get away from my hand. Makes me feel like I'm mentally beating them down or something. I like the arm better. Thanks :)

Anita Koller said...

Very good idea.

Mrs. Petrie said...

Ooh, my mom used to do that. It was worse that getting yelled at!
I'm excited to be part of WFMW! I've been reading it for years. :)

se7en said...

I have a code: "Would you like to chat?" and they know they have totally crossed the line and they need to leave the room immediately for a discussion... for a one-sided discussion from me! Usually they say no-thank-you very politely and buck up... And this passes over the heads of most onlookers (its not about humiliation - their's or mine... it is about training). Only once with each kid have I had to say: "We are going outside to chat now" - Not a question, problem solved!

Mrs. Querido said...

Okay, am I the only one who did a double-take at the title? Seriously, I was envisioning the paralyzing/ possibly fatal Vulcan Grip that Mr. Spock would break out in case of can't tell that my parents were avid Star Trek fans can you?

I think I'll have to try this one out on my sons when they start to act up. Might work better than the evil eye does :)

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

What a great parenting move! Getting their attention is key. Happy WFMW!

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Yes I believe I used the Vulcan Grip on my kids in the grocery store several was very helpful!!! :)

Summer said...

Amen sister! Dr Dobson has a similar style.... except its at the back of the neck. Nothing harsh but it gets their attention....Thanks for the tip!

Shalee said...

Oh, I've used that one for years. It's smart and quick and leaves no marks... Unfortunately, my kids have reached the heights where it's harder for me to reach the right spot... :o)

Sherry said...

Have watched Star Trek but haven't ever tried Spock's move. I can see how it would definitely get some attention. LOL! :D

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the arm, not by the neck. That's what I've been doing wrong...

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Distraction is so key with kids, eh?! Brilliant tip! Thanks.

Hadley said...

Oh yeah! another tip for getting their attention!

btw, my number 124 post is not my permalink...I fixed it for #126. Sorry 'bout that :)

carriecaribou said...

Sounds like a great strategy...and a great book! I'm ALWAYS on the lookout for another great parenting book. You can never have too many tools under your belt! Thanks for the idea!

Rachel said...

Excellent tip.

My Aunt always talks about how her daughter would say to her granddaughter - "Do we need to go in the bathroom?" - when she would misbehave in public. One time my aunt had to say it to her and thought - I sure hope she says no, because I don't know what I'm supposed to do if we actually go to the bathroom! I thought that was so cute!

The Wade's said...

I've got to remember this move. I feel like I'm constantly making threats but never following through because by the time that I can deal with the situation, it has then passed.

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

I think we need a photo of just how that works! ;-)

amy said...

My dad TOTALLY did this to us when we were kids. WOE to the kid who got death gripped in church.

Beth said...

Oh, yes. We've used this type of maneuver before. It definitely works. My husband also swears by the ear grip although I don't like the idea of my little man's ears getting stretched out! Who wants a kid who looks like DUMBO!?!?!

Hoosier Homemade said...

My boys are a little older now, wish I had this when they were little. Thanks for hosting!

Jerralea said...

Thanks for the tip. Hey, can you do that with a 17 year old??? Who is taller than me???

Nicole said...

Just ordered the book off of Amazon. Am also reading "Confessions of an Irritable Mother" by Karen Hossink - GREAT BOOK! In desperate need of some "instructions" for this parenting stuff! P.S. Do you still need any matchbox cars for your friends trip? Thanks!

Kim H. said...

My gosh - that is priceless! I've got to put that in my arsenal for when I get to that stage!

Tammy said...

I must have done this all wrong. When my son was about 4 I took him and his 2 year old sister into Target just to drop a roll of film off (which clearly was years ago). Anyway, he did something crazy and I grabbed him just like this and he screamed, "OUCH!!! YOU ARE HURTING ME".

Of course the photo center is at the front of the store. We marched right back out!

Jan said...

Oh that does not work for my daughter age 4 she just goes limp on the floor and then I have to drag her off at 40 lbs while she thrashes and screams!

Veggiemomof2 said...

Thanks for the tip & the link! I'm going to check it out now.

Have a good day :)

kelliebean said...

Oh this DEFINITELY works for our family. Love it!

Sarah @ said...

What a great tip! I hope I remember this in a few years!

'Becca said...

Hmm, sounds promising! I know that marching the child out of the situation often helps him listen to what I'm about to say, instead of continue being distracted by the undesirable thing he wants to do.

(I messed up my first link #232--you can delete it if you want!)

Lynn said...

Now THERE'S a WFMW tip that will certainly come in handy....

Heather said...

This is certainly going into my bag of tricks. Thanks for the great tip!

Frugal Homemaker said...

Great idea! Thanks for hosting Works For Me Wednesday.

MissMeliss said...

Love the vulcan death grip. :D works quite well!!


Brenda@View From The Pines said...

Honey, you have just restored my faith in your generation. I am 52, and raised my two daughters to be 30 & 34. Back "in the day" we quickly took care of little fits or tirades. We didn't sit back and smile indulgently at our children as if to say "well, look at how priceless my naughty child is!" There was "respect" and there were immediate consequences. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I've had to do something similar with both my kids at one time or another. Now that they are teens they know they better behave before I have to do anything because they never know when I might be thinking about doing something special that could disappear with the oncoming of my displeasure.

Elaine H

Anonymous said...

I feel like an idiot, but could we get a picture or a diagram where this magic grip should take place? actually I am serious :-P

Anonymous said...

LOVE the book Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel! Great, great book!

flowerpot said...

The key is following through with the Vulcan Grip, I think. I also used to lower my voice and speak quietly. My daughter knew when my voice lowered in tone and volume (with enhanced wavering when I was really angry) that it was time to snap into shape!

Raise Them Up said...

We use that move and I can attest, it does get their attention. :)

Autumn said...

I LOVE the Vulcan grip!! I also use it on my very large 9 year old!! (Whom I will sonn be looking Up at!)

Alexia said...

My mom used to use a trick like that on us, except she pinched the nerve up by our shoulder. It hurt. We always stepped up our behavior after that LOL

Kylee said...

The last time I did this, my daughter who is 4 said "Mom, you need to cut your fingernails!!!" Except she yelled it. LOL

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