My husband and I find ourselves continually trying to improve who we are – as spouses, friends, adults, parents. We learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves back up by the bootstraps, and grow. There is no “handbook” for parenting because everyone has their own ideas of what being a good parent means.
Lately, we have been trying creative consequences with our kids in lieu of any discussions or punishments. We noticed that we were giving out punishments that didn’t necessarily match the offense. Why take away TV for not sharing? It didn’t make sense AND what were they actually learning from these mismatched punishments? Nothing. They kept doing the same things over and over again without ever changing the behavior because they weren’t learning anything from us.
So far, so good. Here is my absolute favorite one so far:
OFFENSE – Not sharing became a huge problem recently
CONSEQUENCE – The kids had to share EVERYTHING for the rest of the day … a cup of water, a snack, a chair at the dinner table, a plate at the dinner table, a bath.
Since that day, sharing has not been a problem at our house. Matter of fact, they now go out of their way to share with each other. When they realized that sharing their toys, crayons, etc. wasn’t the same as sharing EVERYTHING, they were able to appreciate it.
A little bonus? Not feeling guilty for punishing! Knowing that we have gently corrected a misbehavior feels so much better than just getting upset over one.