Last Monday I began a series about family. How a show from the 50s, Leave It To Beaver depicted positive attributes of a healthy and loving family that are as applicable today as they were then. In the Cleaver’s home
- family values were discussed and modeled. (All For One and One For All)
- roles and corresponding responsibilities were clearly defined. (Growing Pains)
- rewards for appropriate behavior and negative consequences for inappropriate behavior were dispensed impartially and lovingly.
- adults’ actions and words were complimentary, not contradictory.
- love was demonstrated by providing temporal possessions AND emotional support.
As parents we must continually remind ourselves that our children will one day become adults. Therefore, it is our responsibility as parents to instill positive values so that our children as adults make decisions that positively impact others.
Discipline is the process by which this is accomplished. Because each child is an individual the disciplinary strategies must be child specific. What is effective for one child in the family may not be for another child in the same family. Only through trial and error will this be discovered.
Consequences for behavior can be positive or negative. Are you reinforcing appropriate behavior or discouraging inappropriate behavior? Whatever the reason consequences must be:
- consistent— do what you say.
- powerful— valued by the child.
Suggested Consequences for Appropriate Behavior
- pat on the back
- thumbs up
- movie night
- sporting event
- parent-child date night
- toy, clothing, car
- explicit feedback— describe the appropriate behavior
- use a natural but enthusiastic tone of voice
- compare the child’s progress with their past performance— no comparisons with other children
- link child’s behavior to the positive impact for the child or the effect on another person
Suggested Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior
- direct a child’s attention elsewhere
- use verbal prompts
- physically relocate the child
- not to be used for all behaviors all the time
- 1 minute for each year of the child’s age
- eliminate reinforcers— others, enjoyed activities
- use a timer and restart the time if the child leaves the designated “time-out area”
REMOVAL OF PRIVILEGES
- meaningful privilege that the child will greatly miss
- once a warning has been issued remove the privilege upon the next repeated act of disobedience
- remove privilege for a short amount of time dependent upon the child’s age— several hours for a younger child to several days for an older child
Example: refuses to eat meal
- remind the child there will be no food until the next meal
- allow the child to leave the table.
- enforce the “no food” policy
Example: told to stop running in the house but continues and breaks something.
- helps in the cleanup
- makes restitution by using own money or assigned additional chores
- used only for specific, purposeful misbehavior
- never done in anger
Thanks for listening to my voice! Feel free to like and share it with your friends.
Have a great day! Rita
Be the VOICE heard amidst the deafening sound of sameness!