What’s happening when you discipline children? You are growing great kids! That’s what’s happening!
Parenting styles, teaching methods and personality types differ but many of the underlying principles are the same and can be adapted to your context.
Picture this …
You are just happy to have made it to the car … out the door for the morning school-run. Ringing in your head is your mother’s voice. The one you heard when you were your kids’ ages. “Don’t forget your lunch!” … “Have you got your jumper/books/bag” … “Brush your teeth, you need to be nice to be near!”
You wonder, “How did I get to this? Isn’t there a better way than being a nag? What will they do when they don’t have me to think for them? How can things be simpler when it comes to exploring discipline with children?
This all started around the getting out to door to kindergarten and play group stage. You thought to yourself even then, “Do I really want to do this every day for the next 13 years?”
OK, time for a ‘Getting out the door for school’ routine. What are the essential items for the tick list. It doesn’t matter what order these things happen generally although cleaning teeth after breakfast usually helps. So here goes. Here’s the list with words and pictures. Clothes. Hair and brush. Breakfast. Clean teeth. Bag packed. Optional coat/hat. Shoes.
You’re thinking, “I’m starting to sound like my parent … do I really want to nag kids out the door for the next 13 years?”
Right. Time to sit down after school in a calm, yummy place; no distractions and explain … Wouldn’t it be nice to leave the house in the morning without all the yelling. Everyone, especially the one who is meant to be the grownup, NOT being all grumpy and unhappy. Let’s try an experiment. Let’s have a list of the things that we each need to do by the time the big hand is on the 6. It even has a red sticker on the clock next to the 6. We are leaving when the big hand is on the 8. (The one with the yellow sticker). Ready on the red sticker … trying to be helpful to anyone who’s struggling … leaving on the yellow sticker. OK. Let’s go and have a walk through tonight after dinner and check to see if we have understood the words and the pictures. No? Change the picture? Sure. You find one in a magazine and we’ll stick that one there instead of my really bad drawing:)
Let’s talk about a reward. That’s 6 stars/ticks on the chart in one morning without being asked to do any of the tasks … all done and ready before the big hand is on the 6. OK, the first morning with 6 stars and no reminders … you can buy your school lunch. Then two 6 star mornings in a row … money to buy a school lunch. Then four 6 star mornings in a row … money to buy a school lunch. If that’s not a treat, you can save up and choose a treat that costs the same amount of money. Bonus starts if you are all ready and can help someone else with their list. LOVE LOVE LOVE helpfulness!!
After two weeks the rewards will be over and it will just be normal expected behaviour. What I would like to see in 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years and even 20 years is someone who is able to think for themselves to get out the door on time. OK? Let’s give it a try? Any questions?
Yes, it’s OK to ask me for help. Daddy would love to help you … all I am going to say are two words … the two words are, “What’s next?” When you hear those two words from me or if you say them to yourself out loud or just think them … you can go to the chart and see what’s next. OK, we are going to practice for a week with lots of encouragement and see how we go. After 2 weeks we’ll see if it’s working. Hmmm, I’m also mentioning now that after two weeks there will be some bad consequences for not getting this routine right 2 mornings in a row. We’ll work on it and agree on these together if it looks like anyone needs some reminding.
Yes, it’s OK if you’re sick and have to stay in bed. You don’t have to do the things on the list on those mornings. That’s a different list. Get the bucket. Get the towels. That’s my list.
OK then? … “What’s next?”
- Website comments: website
- You want to attribute ideas to the person who first used it, right? Well the original idea of “What’s next?” probably came from something Bill Rogers said back about 25 years ago. If that’s true, thanks Bill! Works a treat!
- This post is a response to the question, “What have you see or heard or tried in relation to … Tool10: Good routines.”
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What do you see for me??
The future is ours to se. Key sera sera!!