AS a parent, I know that for every bit of fun and enjoyment to be had with children around, there’s always the possibility of consequences and necessary discipline, too. It’s the parent’s responsibility to teach their children right from wrong, as well as how to behave and how to treat others. I know – it’s a big job!
With my kids ranging in age from eight months to 27 years old, I’ve learned a thing or two about being creative when it comes to consequences and discipline.
You can try to steer your children in the right direction to avoid some unnecessary (and not-so-fun) consequences and disciplinary actions simply by motivating them positively with some sort of reward system.
Sticker charts are great as are coin jars and other similar items. With this idea, you’ll be able to discuss behaviours and expectations early on, and your child will know exactly what they’ll need to do in order to earn a sticker.
Just as your children will be able to have a sticker to their sticker chart for behaving well, they might also have to draw a Popsicle stick from the consequence jar when they misbehave.
Some ideas for this jar include early bedtime, no television for a night, an extra chore and timeout. With this method, your child is essentially choosing his or her own consequence and you’ll be around for the follow through.
Let them decide
By bringing your child into the conversation and letting them help determine their consequence, they’ll be able to fully contemplate the severity of their actions as well as brainstorm what kinds of consequences would be equivalent to those poor or negative actions and behaviours.
Writing up a behaviour contract and having your child sign it once you decide upon a consequence you both find suitable, is also a great activity and possibly a bit of a consequence in itself.
After your child sits and thinks about what they did wrong, determines what their consequence will be and then writes the whole thing out to sign, they’ll likely have a whole new outlook and certainly won’t be confused about what they did wrong in the first place.
Teaching your children how they’re expected to behave on a day-to-day basis is difficult, and chances are you’ll have to discipline your children for their actions a time or two before they figure things out. – McClatchy Tribune Information Services
Robert Nickell, a father of seven, is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, where he writes about parenting and the latest babies’ and kids’ gear from a dad’s perspective.