Principal’s Corner January / February 2015
The following article from Love & Logic takes a look at the relationship between smart consequences and problem solving.
Have you ever had a kid take the wind out of your sails by not showing a lot of remorse or concern when you deliver a consequence? Has that ever made you really want to "drop the hammer"?
It happens to the best of us. When most people get off track, it is because they've lost sight of the real goal (respectful, responsible kids) and focused on a lesser goal (winning). We've all been there.
For me, the best results with consequences seem to happen when the focus is solving a problem — versus causing massive discomfort for the kid. Sometimes, those two things intersect, but do not (repeat) DO NOT panic when a kid actually enjoys fixing the problem. Many kids have enjoyed repairing damage or making some other form of restitution. This does not mean the kid 'won' (and you lost). It means we feel good about ourselves when we work to solve problems.
This is where some logic comes in. Avoid asking: 'Did the kid suffer enough?'
Ask instead: "Was the problem solved? Was the damage paid for or repaired? Was the person's time or energy made up? Did the kid make it right?"
Or: "Do I have a wise friend who might help me find more logical restitution than lifetime grounding?"
These questions can put us in a better mindset to respond with more empathy and less wrath.
By Jedd Hafer