Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.
‣‣‣ Bruce Barton
Follow the routine outlined in steps 1 – 6 below with firm and friendly explanations. It is not the time for protracted negotiations. It’s time to mean what you say. Don’t undertake the following steps if you do not intend to follow through with this routine 1001 times in response to the child testing you 1000 times.
The feature of this approach is that it follows a gradual build up of responses from you rather than coming down too hard too quickly to correct a ‘minor’ misbehaviour.
This routine can only be used if you have explained beforehand exactly what will happen if a child forgets a guideline. It assumes you have carefully explained the process of what will happen in the event of an unacceptable or unhelpful behaviour/attitude. It gives the child three warnings. This can be modified to two by careful negotiation with the child/group.
In the event of unacceptable behaviour:
- Ask the child to stop the behaviour and remind the child of the agreement. By prior arrangement with the child, this could be a glance, frown or a hand signal. Allow the child the opportunity to recover.If unacceptable behaviour continues:
- A reminder of the guideline and asking the child to “remember what happened last time!” … gives the children an opportunity to think and to get back on track.
- A very friendly thank you and smile when they begin behaving in a way that shows they are remembering the guidelines.If unacceptable behaviour continues:
- A warning that if they continue to forget or purposely stuff up then time-out and the agreed consequences will follow.If unacceptable behaviour continues:
- Time out! Time for both parties to settle down.
- Delivery and follow through of all the consequences … apologies, restoring relationships, making things right and agreed bad consequences.
- Follow up: Chatting through what went wrong, thoughts/feelings, values chat, checking all relationships are restored.
What can go wrong at the point of the follow through? Have you seen or heard of or tried anything that would be helpful at this point?