Monday, September 2, 2013

A Rant About The Uh-Oh Jar

I'm going to go on a bit of a rant this morning. I was on Pinterest yesterday and saw someone pin "The Uh-Oh Jar"- a jar in which you put slips of paper with "consequences". The pin's description- "Whining? Pull out a consequence. Talking back? Pull out a consequence. Not picking up your things? Pull out a consequence. Maybe you'll get "Your lucky day. No consequence THIS TIME."

Okay, seriously,
please stop. Just stop the madness. This is not teaching. This is not good parenting. I know I used to parent with a rewards and punishment mentality, but now being on the other side these types of things just seem...desperate for control and almost egomaniacal.

Yes, every action has a consequence, but if you're having trouble with your child talking back, then artificially creating a consequence drawn at random of, say, "go to bed early" isn't going to help the issue. Not in a healthy, positive way.

Every conflict is an opportunity to learn, for everyone involved. Yes, that means you as well as your child. Maybe you speak disrespectfully to your child or others, and that is where they pick up the habit. Maybe your child is dealing with some big emotions. Maybe they never learned more appropriate communication skills. Also consider how you model behavior when you feel disrespected. When your child feels wronged, they won't have a jar of consequences to deal out to offenders.

Set your children up for success by teaching them skills to navigate the world appropriately. If they don't have those skills yet, it is not their fault. Take the opportunity to fulfill your responsibility to teach and nurture those skills.

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