Wednesday, July 25, 2012

discipline with natural consequences

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one of my mom's favorite stories to tell about me was when i was about 2 years old and colored with crayons on the wall. my gram came home to find a lil Andie with a wet washcloth in hand scrubbing the wall, sniffling pitifully.  but you know what?  i never colored on the wall again. 

needless to say, when Bear and i had the conversation in the picture above, all i could think of was that story about me as a little kid. 

i could've reacted to this situation in a few different ways.

a.  taken away all of the pens, markers, etc
b.  put him in time-out
c.  made him clean it off

choice a solves the problem and prevents Bear from repeating the action again {at least until they're given back}, but it doesn't teach anything.

choice b removes him from what he did, but again, doesn't teach much.  sitting on a stool doesn't have anything to do with writing on a shoe.

choice c follows natural consequences.  if "this" happens, then "that" naturally happens. 

Bear and i had a small conversation about his decision. 
and i do mean brief3 questions.  here is the condensed version...
what are pens used for?   paper
are your shoes made of paper?  no
so should you write on them?  no

this walked Bear through his poor choice clearly and simply without mucking it up with lots of words.  then he got a wipe and cleaned it as best as he could. 

i ended up helping him finish cleaning it. but that's okay, because i want him to learn that when he makes mistakes, he'll have to try and fix them.

and if he can't do it all by himself, i'll be right there.


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