At some point we all have to deal with a difficult child. But before you engage in discipline, realize that often kids would rather be bad than stupid. In fact, a reason they misbehave is they don’t want to be failures. The Raise Responsibility System is the foundation for handling irresponsible behavior. However, sometimes you have to do a little bit more to help a youngster become more responsible.
In these instances, rather than look to the coercive discipline methods of punishments, rewards, or lectures, try to engage in coaching.
Here’s how it works: Think of young people as lacking skills, rather than as being non-compliant. Few children are maliciously non-compliant. We teach young people how to swing a baseball bat, how to play a musical instrument, and how to drive a car. We do not give up on them when they struggle, nor do we resort to imposed punishment. We coach them. Here are a few coaching techniques:
- Give clear, concise directions.
- Teach youngsters to label a “distraction” as such. It helps them refocus on their task.
- Encourage progress and acknowledge it.
- Develop a verbal or nonverbal signal to redirect children when necessary.
Coaching is wonderful way to encourage responsibility in all youth.