Creative Child June 2018 - Page 21

Early in my positive parenting journey, I sought out logical consequences to replace the time-outs I had been using to no avail. This still ended up being problematic because my focus remained on judging and correcting behavior rather than looking at the heart, but it was a first step in the right direction. Sometimes the consequence was obvious, like the time my son poured an entire bottle of baby wash into the tub. He bought a new bottle out of his allowance, and that seemed to me to be a logical consequence for wasting. However, the answer wasn’t always so simple. I couldn’t think of a logical consequence for disrespect (defiant behavior, speaking rudely, name-calling, etc.), so I often resorted to threats of time-out in his room. Even though I knew this type of punishment wasn’t helpful, I felt that I couldn’t just let my son “get away with” being disrespectful to me or anyone else. Still, I was at a loss as to how to properly handle it. Once I came to understand behavior as communication, it was even clearer to me that threats and arbitrary punishments were not only useless in handling disrespect but detrimental to it. That kind of behavior (on my part) just drove a bigger wedge in our relationship, and showing my child disrespect is never helpful. If I want to really create a culture of respect in my home, I have to give it as much as I expect to receive it. Otherwise, I’m not really living what I lecture. 20