Now that you have communicated as a family about what you value and how your family members will “be” with one another… you are on to better behavior management. Surprised? Read on.
We all have different views on how we expect our children to behave.
What I’d like to introduce is the idea that in order for our children to do as expected they need:
To clearly understand the expectation.
To have the skill sets to exhibit the behavior.
This is where your Family Mission Statement helps. It steers you away from punishment and negativity and into thoughtful caring and collaboration. Working with your child, together, you talk about what the behavioral expectations are, what agreements you have made regarding how you will behave as human beings within your relationships at home, in school and in the community.
Let’s talk about how. If you have a family mission statement, you have all discussed, written out, drawn and posted, now you have a clear foundation to fall back on when the going gets tough.
So let’s say you have agreed to speak respectfully and someone uses language or a tone that is not respectful. Instead of a consequence, now you have a conversation…
“Remember when we talked about what we all cared about and what kind of family we wanted to live in?”
“Do you hear the challenge here? When you (name the behavior) it’s not consistent with our agreement to (name the agreement).”
“So let’s talk about what might be going on for you. Something seems to be getting in the way of you speaking respectfully.”
This conversation is kind and calm. You are collaborating to solve a problem in service of helping your child find new thoughts, words, and actions.
Now you can move on to more agreements…. “Oh, I see when X happens, that makes you feel Y.”
“How can we help you when this happens?”
“How can you help yourself?”
“Let’s build your toolbox with strategies, so you have go-to solutions when you experience BIG feelings. This will help us cope better.”
Your Family Mission Statement is the foundation of your agreements regarding how you will be with one another. It will foster conversation, problem-solving and growth.