Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thompson Family Rules

The time has come! We have always gotten by with simple correction and short time outs, but with the attitude of one particular Thompson child pushing the limits and our patience almost daily, we decided it was time to finally establish a set of official rules for the household, and consequences. We know that establishing rules and discipline actions way after the fact isn't a very affective method, especially if something in particular has already become a I guess what I am trying to say is we wanted to get a system in place before bad habits are formed and harder to change.

I've already established earlier in my blog that we have chosen to not use spanking as a discipline method. We just don't like it and will continue doing other things that have worked just as well for us.

I think a child should always know what is expected of them and know the consequences ahead of time, no surprises. God did that for us, right? A child should be able to enjoy consistency and love with their discipline as well. If we know ahead of time where the "line" is and what the "action" will be, then we will not be at our wit's end as early on, and have something to help us not "react" but to calmly and logically discipline and/or punish as needed.

Corey and I talked this afternoon to establish what we thought were the biggest needs for rules and establish the consequence that would go along with each one. Then we invited the kids to give out some ideas for rules they thought we needed. The suggestions they gave were quite funny...don't litter, no poofing (pooting), no punching in the face, don't light the house on fire, be nice, be loving, do things for others, no chanting, read good books at night before you go to bed, don't watch scary movies, no annoying sounds, no side kicking people, and no spending forever in the bath or at the table.

The suggestions for consequences were also funny....get grounded by losing a toy, get hit by a water balloon, and time away from the tv.

I have read a lot about making the consequences fit the action, and I think it is neat to be able to do that, but all offenses don't fit into an easy "eye for an eye" pattern, and I am sure what we have come up with will work just fine. It does leave room for us to do whatever we think is necessary anyway.

We then talked about their suggestions and how they fit into these categories and established the "rules" of the house. Here is what we came up with so far, and of course, we can always call a family meeting and change things if they don't work. Our main area of problem is whining/complaining, and being respectful.

Thompson Family Rules
1. Use Kind Words
Kind words will not include whining, complaining, or hurtful words toward others.
2. Be Respectful of yourself, others, and adults.
Being respectful includes waiting to talk, asking permission before using someone else's things or entering someone's room, responding politely to grown-ups, stopping what you are doing if someone asks nicely, and being considerate of other people's feelings and space.
3. Obey
Obey your parents, teachers, and the Bible (God).
4. Be Nice
Be nice to others and don't annoy people on purpose.

If you break a rule you will get one warning to stop the behavior. After your warning you will get three strikes:

Strike One: 10 minutes of time out and a spoken apology to the person you offended. Time Out = sitting or standing alone, no talking, moving, singing, or interacting.

Strike Two: strike one penalties and 5 additional minutes of time out (15), plus a written apology to the person you offended or write out the reason your behavior is bad for the family.

Strike Three: strike one and two penalties and 5 additional minutes of time out (20) AND 1 complete day of no "screen time" and or/the loss of a toy or privilege that mom and/or dad choose, or additional chores for the person you offended. Screen time includes tv, video games, movies, and computer.

Strikes can be erased throughout the day by mom and/or dad if extreme remorse and/or making up for the behavior is seen for a long period of time. Every day is brand new with no strikes! :)

So those are the rules....we'll see how it goes. The atmosphere of the house has changed just from discussing everything. I really and truly don't anticipate needing strike 3 really ever, but on extremely rare occasions. We made it this far with nothing at all in place except short talks and time outs. And, we do plan to talk and pray each time a consequence is needed. We want to emphasize a fresh start and a chance for redemption throughout the day. But, there are times that we as parents just needed something we could go agreement from them on what is expected and an awareness of the predetermined consequences so they aren't surprised by what happens when they make a choice of bad behavior vs good behavior. The emphasis has always been on their choice and not us as parents just being mean and in control. There are reasons for rules...logical reasons. And when everyone abides by the rules/good habits then everyone is happier!

If we are away from home or in a place where any of the consequences cannot be immediately taken care of, then we will just keep track and discuss/take care of things once we can. Our kids are old enough now that it will work just as well.

In about a month, Corey and I will be attending the local homeschool expo. One of the exhibitors that will be there has some great resources for Biblical based discipline and other home organizational stuff, like chore charts, etc. They have a great resource I have seen in the past called a "blessings chart." It has specific good deeds and "blessings" you can do for others that have promises from the Bible connected to them. Then, the parent picks a specific reward for each good behavior that they can give the child. We plan on buying one of those at the expo and begin using it. We will have had time to establish some better habits by then and can add on some rewards at that point in time for going above and beyond the minimum expectation.

Tomorrow we start our first day of school for the 2010-2011 year. I am anticipating another fun year! More growth in all areas of our lives!


Karen said...

Bravo...sounds like a very well thought out plan...

The image of being disciplined with a water balloon did give me my big laugh for the night...I imagine I know which Thompson child came up with that one....

Anonymous said...

WOW Kudos to you! This is a great plan!!!!

Jan said...

So organised and civilised..... sounds like a wonderful family plan.
Blessings - Jan

Andy's Bethy said...

Sounds very much like a Thompson plan. You guys are great at sitting down with your kids and talking things out, which I think has worked very well for them. I must agree with Karen - that water ballon idea is hilarious, and I am pretty sure I can tell who came up with that one!