Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thoughts from a Facebook time out

Have you ever set an impulsive or unrealistic consequence?
Do you shake your head in embarrassment knowing you disciplined first without knowing the facts?
Did you feel so fearful of a situation that you responded with undue caution or restriction?

Sigh.  Hi, Parents.

I write this as I sit in my first week of a Facebook time out.                           

Yes.  Me.  Good girl managed to tick off Facebook within her second week on the site!

I inadvertently triggered a Facebook algorithm that led to suspicion of spamming so they put a block on my account. I can't like or reply to my Facebook posts.

Well intentioned followers are trying to talk to me and I won't be allowed to reply for three more weeks!

What a helpful reminder about the consequences we set for kids.

Facebook did it all wrong.
  1. They consequenced without asking questions
  2. They didn't allow me to discuss what had happened or let me explain my side
  3. Something that I did by accident in 5 seconds led to a punishment lasting 4 weeks
  4. They didn't explain what I should do instead.  I had to ask a friend.
  5. They taught me nothing.

However, as I sit in my unrealistic consequence, I can tell you how you can do it better for your child.

Here's a consequence guide to help you have a fair response:
  1. What is the behavior you are trying to address? 
  2. Why is it wrong and what do you want to teach instead?
  3. Check in with yourself.  Are your feeling calm? If not, take space.
  4. Check in with your child.  Is he/she calm? If not, provide some cool down optionsThere will be time for consequence later.
  5. Using a calm tone, at your child's eye level, ask your child what their intent was behind the behavior
  6. Correct the thinking error.
  7. Explain what you wanted to see instead.
  8. Name the consequence. Connect it to what you wanted to teach in #2.
  9. After the consequence, quickly check in with your child, reinforce the lesson and reconnect.
It's so much easier said than done, I know.  Sometimes answers like this just lead to more questions

Do you have a question? 
Ask me here in the comment session.
I'd be happy to answer. 

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