On Wednesdays I like switch it up a little and either share a piece I’ve recently read or an interview. Today’s piece comes from Dr. Ray Guarendi who’s one of my favorite “shrink types” as he just assumes you as the parent know what you’re doing. In his book: Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime, he has this to say to a reader who is having difficulty agreeing with his spouse on discipline:
“No two parents will ever raise a child identically. No two personalities (and hence factors such as reactivity, tolerance level, and consistency) are the same. Further, parenting involves on-the-spot judgement as well as an overall philosophy. It is far too encompassing for complete accord. […] A more immediate path to reduced disciplinary discord is through house rules. These are simple expectations backed by simple consequences. For maximum success, a house rule needs several features.
First, and foremost, parents must agree on it.[…]
Second, a house rule involves a recurrent (weekly, daily, hourly, minutely) trouble spot: back talk, sibling quibbling, chore shirking, temper tempests. It is best used for the most irritating stuff.
Third, house rules are automatic. They result when the rule is broken, without nagging. […]
Finally, try to keep your rules to a manageable number. […]
“House rules provide the common ground upon which you and your spouse can stand. With agreed-upon consequences in place, neither of you has to judge what to do each and every time the kids act up. Besides making expectations more clear for the kids, rules make discipline less open-ended for parents.”
Here are a few house rules that what work for us right now though I know this will change regularly as they grow.
Disrespectful tone: Child has to repeat request/question with respectful tone. He/she refuses or uses tone again then goes straight to room.
Hitting another sibling or parent: Child goes straight to room. “When you have been in there for X minutes and/or have calmed yourself down, I will show you how to make your request without hitting.” After time-out is served and child has calmed down, he/she apologizes before re-joining play/activity.
Screaming: fold a basket of laundry. I usually give them a hand as this can be a little overwhelming still for them at their age but after one basket, they watch their screaming a lot more closely.
That’s just a few we’ve been pretty consistent with recently. I need to write these down so I remember to use the same thing regularly so they remember the consequence better.
Question: What are some of your house rules?
Challenge: Choose one offence to make a house rule for and write it down and put it somewhere visible.
If you found this helpful, please share with another mom.