Home or Home school: When you have to re-group with your discipline

What if one day you look around and realize that you need to change something with your home school or discipline in your household?  What can you do?  For example, what if you realize that your children dump all the toys over and over again all day long and you are sick and tired of the mess?

Or your children are moving the start time of your home school day later and later in the morning?  Take the following steps to start over:

FIVE STEPS TO MAKE CHANGES:

ONE:  Have a family meeting.  Explain that you are going to be changing how you are going to be handling the situation. This is a great time to get Dad involved and show a united front. (Make sure you and Dad are on the same page with the plan before the meeting! If you are not committed to being consistent and following through, don’t even start.)

Example 1: We are not going to be dumping all the toys on the living room floor every day. We are going to have a new plan  that we are putting in place.

Example 2: We are not going to be starting our home school day later and later every morning.  It is not working for our home school day. We are going to have a new plan that we are putting in place.

TWO:  Identify the specific behavior that you want to see happen.

Example 1: We are going to play with one set of toys at a time.  When we are done with those toys, we have to pick them all up and put them in their tub.  Then you may get out another tub of toys to play with.  All toys have to put in the tubs by 8 pm.

Example 2: We are going to start our home schooling day by having breakfast at 8:00 am.  Everyone will be down here at the table at 8:00.  You will be finished by 8:25 am and ready to start school at 8:30 am.

THREE:  List the steps that you are going to take to get to the desired goal.  If your children are old enough to contribute to the plan, it would be great to get their input and get everyone on board.

Example 1:  All the toys are going to be divided into 5 tubs.  Only one tub at a time will be allowed in the living room at a time.  The other 4 tubs will be in the basement. If you want to play with something in another tub, you will have to pick up all the toys from the first tub and request another tub. Mom will be in charge of getting a new tub for you.

Example 2: Dad may say that he will knock on each door at 7:45 and again at 7:50.  Mom will make sure breakfast is ready at 8:00.

FOUR: Decide on a plan of action that will discourage non-compliance.  You need to know your children so you know what kind of actions on your part will discourage non-compliance on their part.  If this is a VERY serious problem, non-compliance can be considered direct disobedience and dealt with accordingly.

Example 1:  If you go get more than one tub of toys and dump them all out on the floor, you will lose all 5 tubs of toys.    You can only earn a tub of toys back if each child does 3 chore slips from the chore jar.

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Example 2:  If you are not down to the breakfast table by 8 am you get instant plain oatmeal or plain Cheerios for breakfast, no matter what the other people in the house are eating.  If you are not ready to start your school by 8:30 am, you will have to do 3 chore slips from the chore jar in addition to your usual chores.  If this happens more than once a week, you will not be able to have a friend over or go to a friend’s house this week no matter what.

FIVE: This is very important!!  Decide on a reward plan to encourage compliance.You need to know your children so you know what will motivate them to comply.

path in woods, fall colors

Example 1:  If you can help Mommy keep the living room clean by keeping the toys neater and using this tub system every day this week, we can work on getting a special ______________ (craft project, field trip, dessert, new sticker book, new box of crayons, special breakfast out with Dad, overnight at Grandma and Grandpa’s, trip to the library, etc.)

Example 2: If we can make these changes, and have everyone down at 8:00 am for breakfast and be ready for school every morning at 8:30 am for a whole week, we can plan a special __________________(craft project, field trip, dessert, new sticker book, new box of crayons, special breakfast out with Dad, overnight at Grandma and Grandpa’s, trip to the library, etc.)

You do not have to put up with toys all over the floor. You do not have to stay frustrated with how your home school day is starting.  It will take work to make the changes, but by getting everyone on board with a plan and positive reward system you can have a better day.  Have the meeting and make the changes so your house and home school works for you.  Let us know how you motivate your children to make changes.  Action plan sheets can be downloaded here.

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