Monday, April 25, 2011

Writing Lines

   My husband and I have been chatting about parenting strategies lately.  Not because anything horrible is happening but because in our life BC (before children) he worked at a home for delinquent and neglected youth, boys and girls generally ages 10-13.  Our two oldest boys are exactly those ages so we thought we'd think back to some ideas that worked and didn't work at the home he was at.  Everything there was obviously a bit more over the top than a "normal" house need be.  They had severe abuse backgrounds and severe behavioral issues.  But, the goal was rehabilitation not punishment and to help them think before they act which is really a goal for all of us.  Tomorrow I'll talk a little about how they "earned" privileges and how we are implementing that in a similar way around here but today I thought I do just a quick note on writing lines.

   If one of the kids was completely out of control they had a special "time out" room that was a safe room for them, but for the disrespect or small offenses between kids their discipline was writing lines.  My husband informs me that the staff would make up whatever they wanted them to write and then assign a number.  Generally 50, more if needed.  They were sent to their room and could come out and join people when finished. We are going to try to implement that this week  and see how it goes. I think we may just have them at the table instead of in their room but we'll see what works.  It seems we are often hitting times where the mouth is running and needs to reminded sometimes it's not WHAT you say but HOW you say it.  We're hoping this will slow them down and make them think before they speak or at the very least give them a chance to think, "Gee, that wasn't a very good idea."  This doesn't happen a lot around here but it does happen and I sometimes feel like I don't know how to react besides a long lecture.  This week we're going to try "A little less talk and a lot more action."

   This new stage of "bigger" kids is a ton of fun.  We want to keep enjoying each other AND find some ways to address little attitude issues without blowing them way out of proportion or ignoring them all together.  What are some ways you deal with issues like these??

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