When I discover misbehavior the first thing I say is: “You may go and sit on the thinking couch”. They know (because we’ve talked about it many times) that this means that I need time to cool down and think about an appropriate response and consequence for their action.
Then I go up to my room where I keep a list of questions that I review about the situation.
The questions are:
#1: Was I supervising the child properly?
#2: Did they know better or are they still learning this?
#3: Things that would factor into the type and severity of the consequence:
-Is this a recurring problem?
-How does this child learn best? (What style of consequence should I use? Such as isolation, talking, removal of privilege, extra chore)
-Do they seem repentant?
#4: How can I make the consequence connected or related to the mistake?
#5: How can I make this a teaching moment rather than an angry moment?
I feel like this approach has allowed all of us to stay calm rather than explode and say or do hurtful things. It also allows me time to craft consequences and discussions to make these moments into teaching moments so that the misbehavior will be less likely to recur. I also love how many of these moment have ended up being very loving since we are both calm and able to talk. The kids respond well to the consistency and I’m glad I can give them an example of thinking calmly and slowly when I’m upset. Overall, it has been wonderful for our family!