You’ve completed step one, parent intervenes. Now it’s time for the Discipline with love and Communication lifestyle .
This step is extremely important but is also very often left out of the training/disciplining process. At first you may feel that it is taking too long and you are probably right, but after you’ve had a chance to do it a few times it will be a very short step in the process.
One essential element of this step is for the parent to define exactly what is inappropriate about this behavior. These questions should be answered by the parent or it can be done with the parents together:
1. What is it about this behavior that is inappropriate?( Does is show disrespect to a person in authority? Can it result in destroyed property? Can it result in injury to a person? Is it disobedience? Lying? Stealing?) It will be difficult to help your child understand exactly what he’s done wrong if you aren’t clear about what’s wrong.
2. How can you communicate to your child what he has done wrong in one sentence? (“You disobeyed me when you…”, or” You said ____, but that was a lie.”, or “You broke our family rules when you decided to _________.”)
3. Decide on what the consequence will be.
a. Sometimes the consequence happens naturally without help from the parent. In that case you may not need to impose an artificial consequence but you do need to name the consequence to be sure your child makes the connection. (“You broke our family’s rules when you came into the kitchen. The result was that you had to clean it up.” )
b. Sometimes the consequence does not happen naturally but there is an obvious natural consequence that can be imposed. (“You broke our family’s rules when you ran through the house holding a pair of scissors. Now you will not be allowed to use scissors for two weeks”)
c. Natural consequences are always preferred when possible but sometimes the natural consequence would be non-existent, too mild, or too harsh. In that case you will need to decide on an imposed consequence.
- There are three types of consequences: 1. Take away an item that belongs to the child for a certain amount of time., 2. Take away a privilege, (“You were lying when you told me you made a B on the test, therefore you will not play video games or computer games for two weeks.”) 3. Grounding/Time out.(“You were disrespectful when you told me to ___ , therefore you are grounded to your room for one week.”, 4. Hard labor. (”You broke the golden rule when you dumped your brother’s clothes on the floor, therefore you will do his laundry for one week.”)
4. Form a one or two sentence statement that states what the child did wrong and what his consequence is. (Each statement in parenthesis above is a statement that names the inappropriate action and the consequence.)
Next article: Step three, the Parent communicates with the child.
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