Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Catching up on Positive Discipline Tool Cards

It has been a few weeks since I have posted a Positive Discipline Tool Card. I'm finding it hard to keep up with the weekly postings, so I will post several today and the rest in a couple of weeks. Now that Halloween has arrived, life is going to be very busy through the holidays.

I've learned a few things by going through these tool cards this year.

First, I don't recommend doing them once a week. There are so many valuable tools and they were designed to be used together. If I had to do it all over again (and I might), I would keep all the cards with me and see what is useful during the week. There could be days when I might need to use 5 or 6 of the tool cards. For example: On any given day I could see myself using Put Kids in the Same Boat, Validate Feelings, Listen, Hugs and Decide What You Will Do. But if I am too focused on one tool card like Curiosity Questions, I might miss my opportunity to use the other tools that I really need that day.

Secondly, I would not involve my kids in the process of using the tool cards. Unless it is a tool card that specifically recommends involving my kids like Routines. But even then, I would just introduce the concept in our Family Meeting and not announce the fact that I have these new parenting tool cards. I've found that my kids (especially my son) will sense insincerity and use passive aggressive behavior to sabotage my efforts. It would be better if I decide in private that I am going to focus on something like Closet Listening and then just let my kids be pleasantly surprised by my new found parenting skills.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that I will be focusing on the entire deck of cards from now on. I will carry the deck with me and shuffle through them on a regular basis so I become familiar with all the concepts. I also have the iPhone App which I will start utilizing more. Having all the tool cards at my disposal at any given moment will be far more effective.

So without further are three more Positive Discipline Tool Cards:


1) Have a discussion where everyone gets to voice feelings and thoughts on an issue.
2) Brainstorm solutions and choose one everyone can agree to.
3) Agree on a specific time deadline.
4) If agreement is not followed avoid judgment and criticism. Use nonverbal signals or ask, “What was our agreement?”
5) If agreement still is not followed, start again at step 1.

Limited Choices

Limited choices provide small steps in shared power.

1) It is time to leave. Would you like to hop like a bunny or clomp like an elephant to the car?
2) If your child doesn’t want to leave, kindly and firmly say: “Staying is not a choice”, and repeat the two choices.
3) It can be empowering to add, “You decide”, after giving two choices.

Empower Your Kids

Share control with young people so they can develop the skills needed to have power over their own lives.
1) Teach life skills.
2) Focus on solutions together.
3) Have faith in your children
4) Let go (in small steps)
5) Increase self awareness: How do you feel? What do you think? How does this affect what you want in your life?


Karen said...

Thanks Brad. I've kind of fallen off the tool card wagon, so you've reminded me about getting back on! I wish I had an iPhone JUST to get the tool card app :)

I totally understand what you're saying about the kids' involvement - I wonder if there's a balance there? I liked it when Emma would go to the fridge and choose the right tool card for the situation :) (I think it was hugs?).

Anyway, keep up the good work! You really do inspire me and I do appreciate reading about your experiences.

Amy Bearce said...

I also appreciate the reminder, Brad. I've had the same three cards sitting on my computer for a couple of weeks now (Connection Before Correction, Family Meetings and Focus on Solutions, because those are what I felt we needed most.) I think, regardless, using them in any fashion is better than none at all and I wouldn't have gotten them if I hadn't have seen your blog. :)