My mother was a very funny lady. She had a sarcastic, dry sense of humor. Growing up my mother was a bit of a yeller, but she was also quick to make a joke out of potentially sticky situation. If we were misbehaving, she would threaten to get out the paddle. Now that paddle was a big joke. It was tucked in the back of her closet with cobwebs on it. When she did take it out, it had silly pictures on it with an upbeat ridiculous poem. She would look at it, we would look at it and we would all laugh. She never used the paddle for punishment, it never touched our bodies. My Mom used the paddle as a tool to change our behavior, which it did. It changed us into giggling, behaving children. The paddle worked.
Many times I have used different “paddles” or tools to change my children’s behavior. When they were really young if they were yelling or having a tantrum, I would whisper as quietly as I could in their ear. They would have to stop what they were doing just to hear me. Another tool I used was for the runaway child, the one that would escape you in the supermarket or mall. I would shout out a different name. So when my son Colin was running towards the candy aisle at full speed, I simply would say “Robert, get back here!” He would stop dead in his tracks, and say, “My name is not Robert!” I would then call him a few different names as he worked his way back to me. The only downside of that was when people would be very curious if I was ‘actually’ his mother. lol
Now with Mom, my son has found a tool that can usually change a bad mood of hers. That tool is chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? He found that one day, while she was in a particularly bad mood, he offered her a piece of fudge. That was a total game changer! Now from time to time, if we see she is starting to get upset or agitated over something, we offer her food (usually something chocolate). It’s a small amount, but boy does it make her happy.