ELICITING is positive, offers choices, and prompts reflection—the three practices described in Part II of the teaching model.

Rather than using negative approaches such as threats and IMPOSING punishments, we should help youth to help themselves.

Guided Choices accomplishes this with an explanation on page 40 of the Resource Guide.
In addition, forms are on pages 41 – 50. Page 63 gives additional suggestions for Dealing with Difficult Students.

Threats and punishments are based on the belief that a person needs to be harmed—to be hurt—in order to learn. When you IMPOSE A PUNISHMENT you are acting on this belief. The result may be immediate obedience, but future motivation will be to avoid punishment—rather than do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

A few additional problems with imposing punishments are that they

> are inconsistently applied,
> lose effectiveness over time,
> prompt compliance, not commitment,
> are profoundly unfair because they ignore differences in people.

In contrast, if promoting responsible behavior is your goal, then eliciting a procedure or a consequencence achieves that goal—not only immediately but also without the stress that typically accompanies coercion in the form of threats or imposed punishments.

Keep in mind that the person who asks the question controls the situation.

  • Indicate that the behavior is on a level that is unacceptable.
  • Ask, “What do you suggest we do about it?”
  • Be ready to ask, “What else?” “What else?” “What else?” until the PROCEDURE or the CONSEQUENCE THAT THE YOUTH SELECTS is acceptable to you AND will help control future inappropriate impulses.

A few words about consistency and fairness: Ask students if they would rather be treated as a group or as individuals. They will readily express a preference to be treated as individuals. Therefore, using the PROCEDURE of ELICITING is more equitable, is more effective, is in each young person’s best interest, and is just as consistent as the procedure of IMPOSING a consequence.