We've been having some issues with the kids and unacceptable behavior. Lying, back talking, being bossy, not doing what they were told, and homework issues.
I've been contemplating what effective form of discipline to use when it comes to these behaviors, but also how to incorporate teaching the kids the life skills needed to understand why these behaviors are unacceptable, because these are traits that are not only unacceptable now but will also be as they get older. The lessons they learn from these punishments are more important to me than the punishment itself. Does that make any sense?
My kids all have very different personalities, and trust me when I say I've read many, MANY parenting books, listening to audio taps, etc. It's so important to me that we find effective discipline for each child because they are all so different and respond to direction, correction, praise, and criticism differently. I want them to be 'who they are'. Strong-willed, type A, quiet.......... the list goes on. Being able to effectively teach them about unacceptable behaviors while encouraging them to be who they are is my ultimate goal. Isn't that every parents goal?!
Time-outs really aren't something that are effective because my kids, well, they are content laying in their beds, singing/talking to themselves, and staring at the ceiling. I'm trying to say, they are very capable of keeping themselves entertained. (Except for Breanna...time-outs are very effective with her because she despises them so much. Just the threat of time-out is usually enough to get her to behave.)
They don't play video games much, so taking their DS's/Wii privileges away really doesn't work either.
Today, E and I were talking and she suggested having the kids write me a paper addressing the following questions:
1. Why am I in trouble?
2. How does my behavior affect me?
3. How does my behavior affect others?
4. How can I work on changing my behavior?
5. How would my behavior been punishable in other situations (ie. school, church, etc)?
Obviously, this will only work with my big kids, but I think it's a fantastic idea. Not only do they have to think about their actions, but they have to discuss them with us. Then depending upon what the 'issue' was, we will work out a correlating punishment.
How do you all deal with these things?