Friday, September 25, 2009

Discipline Part 3: Discipline on Your Feet/Not Your Seat

When I was teaching, my district had a motto.............
Teach on your feet, Plan on your seat

The meaning was that teaching was an active sport. Don't be tied to your desk. Move around. Be where the kids are.

Parenting is an active sport............especially discipline. You can't discipline from across the room. You must be near the child. It is active - so being tired is normal. The good news is that if you will be active and consistent your PeeWee grows up, the sport gets easier because you are both "in shape".

So start each day ready
  • Plan ahead with your spouse by setting rules, boundaries, rewards, and punishment.
  • Pray for wisdom and grace and love for your children, and don't forget energy and strength.
  • Then get in the game! Enjoy your children. Take responsiblity for their learning and training. Get off the bench, bed, couch, etc. and get active with your kids both playing with them and loving them, and disciplining them.
  • Be consistent all day long.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Discipline Part 2: Are You a Slot Machine?

Ever been to Vegas? Go ahead and admit it.......I will. The slot machines fascinate me - and so do the people sitting at them! You become mesmerized by the spinning fruit. You continue to put money in even with no reward..........because there is always the hope of a reward. If you get 1 prize, you will be motivated to continue trying because there is a chance it will happen again. Sporadic rewards can be very motivating for behavior to be repeated.

Did you know that you can be like a slot machine to your PeeWee? Your random punishment is like the random rewards from a slot machine. It is kind of reverse reward. Your PeeWee is willing to take a chance that you aren't going to discipline her this time - so she continues to do the same behavior.

So actually random punishment, is really a reward. It feeds the excitement of the behavior slot machine, and keeps the PeeWee pulling the arm over and over. If you aren't going to consistently punish bad behavior - don't bother to punish randomly - you are getting the same result either way.

Unplug the slot machine............and become consistent. Do what you say you are going to do every time.

James 5:12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Discipline Part 1: Your Child the Scientist

Remember the Scientific Method? That thing you documented when you did science experiments. Did you know that it is a natural learning technique? All those years in science and you thought the whole idea was so foreign - you really knew about it from birth; and even practiced it from birth. I'm not kidding! Let me show you what I mean.........

Hypothesis - experiment - note results - draw a conclusion

Everything your child does is an experiment - the results are written in his memory - he draws conclusions about the world around him based on these experiences. Let me show you what I mean..........

Experiment#1 - Grab something that is a no-no
2 Different Results Could Happen:
  • Mom says no and takes away ~ Conclude that this didn't work
  • Mom trades the no-no for a toy ~ WooHoo :) That worked beautifully!

Experiment#2 - Take a toy away from a friend

2 Different Results Could Happen:

  • Mom says no and takes away ~ Conclude that this didn't work
  • Mom lets you keep the toy and gives the friend another ~ WooHoo :) That worked beautifully!

What did your PeeWee learn today? Or maybe I should say.......what did you teach your PeeWee today? Without planning to, if you use the 2nd result, he now knows the fastest, most efficient way to get a toy. Whereas, with the 1st choice of results, he will eventually experiment with asking nicely - and then learn this is the best way to get a toy.

Sometimes one experiment that ends negatively is all that a child needs to reach a conclusion. Some PeeWees want to complete the same experiment over and over hoping for a different result. It is very important that the same lesson is learned each time, so be consistent.

Remember Consistency is your friend!

Parenting Lesson: look at the end result of an encounter..........what did my child learn from this. You may be teaching lessons that you don't even realize. Some of them may be counteracting your intentional lessons. Just something to think about.........

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