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January 24, 2014
Teach Children What to Do Next Time
Do you feel like some days you have to discipline kids for the same things over and over again? The child who has a problem hitting, interrupting, or just being annoying to others may need a lot of correction.
It’s these problems that are great candidates for a Positive Conclusion. Each time the negative behavior takes place, have the child take a short break and then come back to you for a debriefing. During that conversation, one of the questions should be, “What are you going to do differently next time?”
When you ask this question your child has to state the right response back to you. If Bill is frustrated with his brother Jack and responds by arguing or saying unkind things or grabbing, the right response is to talk constructively about the problem. If you continue to discipline Bill for these wrong responses and he continues to verbalize that the right response is to talk about it, eventually he is able to catch himself sooner and talk to Jack about the problem without using the negative behaviors. This takes time and repeated discipline sessions, but children learn by repetition and frequent, gently reminders.
Sometimes children don’t know what they should have done differently. In fact, some parents are so used to telling their children what not to do, that they, themselves, haven’t even thought about what the right response should be. Sometimes the solutions are not easy. That’s all the more reason to use this question with children. Both parent and child can brainstorm about alternatives to unwanted behavior.
By communicating the right response to you verbally, your child will learn to see the difference and begin to change.
This parenting tip is from the book, Home Improvement by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.