Go for the Prize & Score HIGH !

Gold Medal Men SkatingRecently, I gathered the children for a something-has-to-change discussion. These occur when I realize that Mom and Dad suffer the negative consequences for our children’s inattention. “The kids need to feel the pain to change,” thought I. Needless to say, my sons resisted. “It’s not fair, Mom. You’re giving us another punishment.”

Add Bonuses vs. Remove Privileges

The kids need to feel the GAIN to change, proposed award winning teacher Ron Clark in his book, The Excellent 11. He shared his technique to secure positive class participation and reduce rowdiness: fewer than five class misbehaviors before lunchtime and everyone receives an additional five minutes of recess.

It’s the Olympian technique. Points aren’t removed; they’re added. Spectacular performances earn higher scores.

Win-Win Home Rewards

Ron Clark’s and the Olympic examples reoriented our discipline talk. We identified a valid privilege (an allowance bonus, extra computer game time, friends over…) that all of the children would receive if they all completed their required chores. For details read Who’s Job Is It Anyhow?

A discussion which began with resentment by each of us ended on a note of hope for all.

Photo of Evan Lysacek from Seattle Times blog.

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