Teach Don't Punish
- Published: Monday, 14 March 2016 00:26
When implementing consequences with their children, parents often fall the trap of enforcing consequences that cause a child to "do time". For instance a child may use vulgar language and lose their phone privileges that day.
While it is important to respond to that behavior, it is far more effective in the long run to be teaching your child what the desired behavior needs to be. What that looks like then is that your child will need to exhibit the behavior you want from them for a set period of time before they can get their privileges back.
Taking the example above a parent may say to their child, "You will need to show me that you can use appropriate language for the next 24 hours and then you can get your phone back. If you need some help figuring out how to do that I'm always here to help."
Notice what that does. It puts the responsibility back on the child to engage in the behaviors you want your child to be exhibiting. It also allows them to practice the skill of "not swearing" when they deal with a frustrating situation over the next 24 hours.
You will need to use your knowledge of your child to determine the most appropriate timeframe. For instance, your child may need to be appropriate for 2 hours versus 24 hours. You want the timeframe to be challenging for the child without feeling overwhelming to them.
Give this strategy a try in the next 48 hours. What do you have to gain? Perhaps, a better behaved kid.