Early in the school year my first grade students were introduced to the Positive Discipline Wheel of Choice during our classroom meetings. We use the Wheel of Choice daily to solve problems and come up with solutions
This tool card provides an example of asking for a hug when a child is having a temper tantrum, but that is certainly not the only time a hug can be an appropriate intervention when you understand the principle of hugs. Later, I’ll share where the example on the card came from; but first I want to share another example.
While rewards may be a quick way to motivate students, it is important to stop and think, “What are students learning when they receive rewards?” Research has shown that rewards are not effective long-term and in fact can be harmful to students. The rewards become more important than the inner satisfaction of learning and contribution.
The Johnson family was about to complete their weekly grocery shopping when five-year-old Jimmy started coaxing for a toy car. Mom asked politely, "Have you saved enough money from your allowance to buy it?" Jimmy looked sad and said, "No." Mom suggested, "Maybe you would like to save your allowance so you can buy that car when you have enough money."
It is much easier to take responsibility for a mistake when it is seen as a learning opportunity rather than something to be ashamed of. If we see mistakes as bad we tend to feel inadequate and discouraged and may become defensive, evasive, judgmental, or critical of others or ourselves. On the other hand, when mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn, recognizing them will seem like an exciting venture. "I wonder what I will learn from this one?" Self forgiveness is an important element of the first R of Recovery.
Julie complained that her four-year-old son, Chad, is very responsive and cooperative with his father about going to bed, but when she puts him to bed and tries to leave, Chad yells for her to come back and wants her to lay down with him. Every time she tries to leave, he cries for her to come back. Julie feels exhausted and resentful that she can’t have the evening to herself or enjoy time with her husband. She wonders why she can't get the same cooperation from Chad as Dad does.
I have a 5-year-old son and three-month-old daughter. My son seems to have adapted fairly well to the new addition but there is one major problem. Every time he sees her napping he will scare her to wake her up. She gets absolutely hysterical, so he gets the reaction that he wants. I do not know what to do. We live in a small 1927 home so the only room that has locks is the bathroom, otherwise, I would just lock her in the room, although, I still think he would find a way to wake her up.
Parents may not realize that doing too much for children (usually in the name of love) is discouraging. A child may adopt the belief "I’m not capable” when adults insist on doing things for them that they could do for themselves. Another possible belief is “I am loved only when others are doing things for me.”
Why don’t children keep their agreements? Could it be that sometimes parents and teachers say, “This is what we are going to do. Do you agree?” When the question is asked in an authoritarian manner that doesn’t leave room for discussion, children often shrug in agreement, which really means, “Sure, I’ll agree to get you off my back, but I don’t really agree.”