The New Way to Teach Your Child Self-Discipline
Kids are funny when it comes to choices. On one hand, they want to make their own choices; on the other hand, they have the distinct ability to choose poorly. One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn in the last 9 years of parenting is that
IT’S ACTUALLY UP TO ME TO TEACH THEM TO MAKE GOOD CHOICES CONSISTENTLY.
Oh my gosh, that’s not good. I didn’t start making good choices until I was like, waaayyy older than I want to admit. How am I supposed to teach them something I didn’t do?
We could go into any number of different philosophies about understanding right and wrong and making decisions, but I want to help you with something that has been very helpful in our parenting journey. It’s a simple truth that you can implement with great success.
You only have to teach your child to make choices between consequences and who delivers them.
Let me explain how we do it and you can tailor it to the culture of your family.
When I first started this with our kids, it was like a breath of fresh air. “Mikey, I asked you to pick up those toys and put them away. Do you want to do that or do you want to have a consequence for disobedience?”
Sullenly, “What’s the consequence gonna be?”
“That’s a good question buddy. I’ll have to come up with something that causes you some emotional pain so you learn from it. I gotta be honest with you… I don’t want to do that. Would you rather come up with the consequence yourself?”
“I don’t want to have ANY consequences Daddy!”
“I understand buddy. I don’t want any either. But if I have to discipline you, it has to be a consequence about your toys.”
“You mean, you’ll take them away?”
Well, actually, it would be you choosing me to take them away. Because I already asked you to PUT them away. And remember, my job is to teach you and protect you. This is how I teach you some things about how we live in this family.”
“So can I put them away and have no consequences?”
“Actually, there will be a consequence if you put them away. The consequence is that you get to play with them again the next time you want to! So we can either do “daddy discipline” or “Mikey discipline”. Which one sounds better to you?”
It evolved from there. Now we can simply ask any of our kids, “Do you want daddy/mommy discipline or…” and they will finish the sentence… “self-discipline…”
I would say 99% of the time that is the end of the conversation.
If you feel like this could possibly work for your family and want help creating a plan, let me know! If you try it and it works, please let me know!
P.s. We are about to launch the June Jumpstart program. This program is uniquely designed to help you pick up the slack after being out of school a while and get their brain on track for August and the new semester. Just for June, we are going to be offering this incredible program with extended protocols and unlimited support from our directors ALL for 50% OFF for the first 10 people. We can’t even offer to more than that because it’s too time-intensive for our staff! Schedule a free consultation to learn more!