These posts on behavior may be lengthy, and may seem taxing at first, but I have a feeling that if you bite the bullet and get into the habit of consistently following a plan of action, you will be glad you did.
If you made some “house rules” yesterday, you now need a way to follow up with them. So, after talking about and setting the rules, a great thing to talk about with your child is what will happen if they do/don’t make these good choices.
It is important to sequence consequences from light to heavy because that way each child knows the weight of their choices. So you might give a verbal warning first, “You may not jump on mommy’s couches. This is your warning. If you jump from couch to couch again, you will go to time out.” If the behavior happens again you follow through and issue the time out (one minute for each year old). If there is a third offense, inform the child that he/she is losing a privilege (and again, follow through) because he/she is choosing to disobey. Finally, if there is a fourth offense, bedtime time out.
Not only is it good to have these consequences but it is great to give young children a visual reminder of what offense they are on. A behavior chart is a great way to do that. It is a measurable, illustrated way of reminding your child of their consequences. You don’t want a bunch of empty claims… I assure you. If you learn to keep up with a behavior chart don’t forget that you are not just observing their negative behaviors. You are giving them opportunities to move UP the ladder to. If you observe your child demonstrating obedience, move their marker up to the top and encourage them that you are noticing him/her trying to be the best he can be.
Here is a picture of Casey’s behavior chart. She personalized it for James because he loves space, but the great news is…it is her business!!! She can personalize one for you too!!!
This is the consequence sequence Casey follows as well:
“1st offense, warning
2nd offense, time out (1 minute per year)
3rd offense, toy time out (loses privilege, or whatever toy he is playing with)
4th offense, room time out on his bed
(hitting or purposefully hurting someone, goes immediately to his bed)”
“The Toy Time Out box, painted by my 3 year old, is VERY necessary in our house. He gets the toy taken away until the next day. Then the next day I make him recall why it got taken away.”