Once you have established consistent obedience in your home, often the only tool you need is a conversation, especially for older children who have humble hearts and a desire to do what’s right.
In that case, when a misbehavior happens, you can simply sit down with the child and ask him the same questions you would ask yourself when choosing a consequence:
- What was the root of the misbehavior? (i.e. laziness, pride, selfishness, anger, rebellion, sensory issue)
- How is this behavior wrong?
- What would happen if an adult behaved this way?
- What other negative outcomes could this behavior produce? (someone could have been hurt; an item could have been lost, stolen or broken, child could be alienated from others)
- Were you somehow set up for failure? (tired, hungry, overstimulated, pushed to incompetence)
- Do you think you need a motivator to overcome this?
- Do you think you’re missing a tool that could help you be more successful?
Sometimes, you don’t even need that much discussion. The three question correction is enough for them to understand what went wrong and how they can do it differently next time. If they’re truly repentant and armed with the tools to make a better choice in the future, you might not need anything else.
That wraps up our series on Filling the Training Toolbox. If you have any questions or comments or ideas for us, please leave a comment, contact us through the website, or send us a Facebook message.