One thing I have learned………
Make a List of Rewards and Consequences for EACH Child
Your child is misbehaving, you are boiling inside, flustered on the outside and trying desperately to think of an appropriate consequence for their actions without losing your cool! What do you do?!
One thing I have learned is to take some time to write down the best consequences and rewards for each child and post it in a subtle, yet convenient location, so that I can easily refer to it when I can’t think clearly. So, take a moment (with your significant other if appropriate) when things are calm to sit and think about what makes each specific child tick. What makes an impression on each of your children? What is “painful” to them (not physical per se, but what bothers them)? Write down each idea. Also, think about what motivates them. What do they really like? What matters to them? Be creative! Brainstorm small to large ideas on both sides. Write a list for EACH child and post it inside a cabinet in the kitchen or in the hall by the bedrooms — somewhere convenient to most situations (yet subtle) so you can easily refer to it when needed. For older children, you may even want to go over the rewards and consequences with them, so things are clear in their head as well.
One thing I have learned is that with disciplining and rewarding children it pays to plan ahead, so rewards and consequences are clear in your head (and to the children) and can be more clearly communicated when needed, even in the heat of the moment.
Coming soon…..some ideas of rewards and consequences we have found to work over the years with all our different personalities of children.