Wednesday, December 10, 2008
When it comes to kids and discipline, many of us find ourselves resorting to the trusty ol' time out, spanking, or taking away of privileges. Next time your kid is banned from video games or their bicycle for a week, ask them afterward to explain in detail why that privilege was taken away in the first place. If the offense called for a spanking, wait an hour or two after the punishment and ask that same question. Rarely will the kid completely recall all the reasons for that punishment. Sometimes they will put some of the pieces together. Most of the time, to the parent's frustration, the kid will miss most of "the point".
I know, I know. That's frustrating, but, what are parents to do? Well, we constantly encourage our children to "stop and think" before acting. Why don't we do the same? Be Creative. Find a consequence that matches the offense directly. That way your kid CAN'T forget.
Here's some Ideas.
Offense: Teenager that slams his bedroom door.
Consequence: Take his bedroom door away. This can be taken off easily in about 30 seconds. Your teenager loses the privilege of that added privacy. They can trek to the bathroom to change clothes and stuff. It won't kill them, but they'll think about not slamming that door next time.
Offense: Daughter keeps forgetting to flush the toilet after using it.
Consequence: For 2 days, nobody in your family is allowed to flush after a trip to the restroom. Instead, your daughter must enter after each deposit to flush everyone elses stuff. Gross huh. But hey, that's what she expects mom to do. I bet she flushes from now on.
Offense: Kids are running through the house like its home of track and field competition.
Consequence: They must be on their knees when moving through the house for one day. They'll think this one's fun at first, but trust me. By the end of a full day of this, they'll be happy to walk around tomorrow.
O.K. I helped you get started but now it's up to you. Stop and take some time before just defaulting to the same ol' consequence that didn't work last time. Then, go. Be creative.
Be sure to comment and share your ideas.