This month we have been working on Accountability in our school with students. Of course I personally work on everything that I ask our students to work on. I thought I would share with parents a method of changing attitude and of learning that is not punishment.
Lets say that a child has acted out in a manner that is not acceptable to you and your family values. There may be a need for a consequence or there may be some natural consequences, but in the end what we really want is for the child to learn that not practicing that behavior is in their best interest.
Step number one:
Recognition that a mistake has been made: “I made a mistake.” In saying this there are two questions that should be answered. “What did I do?” and “What happened when I did it?”
Step number two:
When we recognize we made a mistake and that it had an affect on others of course we will want to say, “I am sorry.” As a parent we do not want to force the words out of the child, but we would like to see them come from a feeling of really understanding the hurt that has been caused. To make this happen we may need to skip to Step Three and then see if the child can see the harm done.
Step number three:
Awareness: Have the child investigate and research the subject and the affect on others. They may want to write an essay or paper or find another way of expressing what they have learned.
Now we want them to learn on their own how they might be able to overcome the habit or behavior. We may need to help them research this depending on their age, but the idea is to get them to see what they need to do to find a better way of behaving.
Finally we want them to PRACTICE!
They will not be perfect in the practice but we will have their research and studies to refer back to as we help them break bad habits. Have a question about a specific behavior or age group? Feel free to ask me about how to help them overcome behaviors that are not serving them well.