There are many ways to handle your own children once they have come home from school and think they are in trouble. Maybe the "clipped down" or were reprimanded, or sent to the office to speak with someone. Whatever the reason, children are often redirected at school, and sometimes parents are not sure how to handle it. One way is to engage in a "Behavior Restitution model" with your child.
1. Ask your child what they did wrong. Allow them to tell you all the details, and keep asking questions in a calm manner. Don't interrupt, because children are likely to stop giving information if they lose their train of thought, especially for the very young child.
2. Ask them what the consequences were. Ask them specifically if there was a consequence or if there will be one in the future. Ask them what they think should be the consequence, if they are not sure. You can phrase it like this "what if your neighbor did this? What would be his consequences? What happens when your friends break the rules". Especially if they do not know the consequences.
3. Ask them who was affected by their actions. Did they hurt someone else? Does someone else get into trouble?
4. Ask them why they broke the rules. Ask follow up questions and listen. This is the point when many children feel remorse and regret for having broken the rules.
5. Ask them what they will do differently next time. Allow them to know there are second chances and next time they can act more responsibly. Remind your child that you trust them to do the right thing next time.
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.
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