Thursday, March 11, 2010

Teaching or Discipline?

Sometimes a chronic problem develops ... for example, the whole family is demanding and unkind to one another.  You have noticed a lack of kind words and simple courtesy in the home.  What to do?

First, identify the problem and think of clear examples of it happening.  You have noticed that family members say "Get my book" instead of "Dad, could you please pass hand me my book?"

Think of an enforceable statement you could use, "I help those who use good manners."  or "Someone might be talking to me but I can't hear them. I go deaf when requests are made without manners."  (Say this with kindness and empathy!)

Also plan an appreciative statement:  "I appreciate it so much when we use kind words and good manners in our family."

Then, at a time when everyone is in a great mood and all together try a little education by example.  If your spouse is in on this then try an exaggerated use of good manners and appreciation with one another in front of the kids. 

     Dad:  "Honey, would you please pass the ketchup?
    Mom:  "Thank you so much."
    Dad:   "You are welcome"
    Mom:  "I just appreciate it SO much when we use good manners."

Finally, keep it up with all who catch on but also faithfully use the enforceable statement when requests are made without good manners.

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