Focus on Solutions for Disciplining

Many parents and teachers have reported that power struggles are greatly reduced when they focus on solutions. Focusing on solutions creates a very different family and classroom. Your thinking and behavior will change, and so will the thinking and behavior of your children.

The theme for focusing on solutions is: What is the problem and what is the solution? Children are excellent problem solvers and have many creative ideas for helpful solutions when adults provide opportunities for them to use their problem-solving skills.

The Three Rs and an H for Focusing on Solutions are the same as the Three Rs and an H of Logical Consequences. In fact, the first 3 are identical. They are presented again here to help change the tendency toward the use of Logical Consequences in favor of Focusing on solutions.

The Three Rs Focusing on Solutions:

1) Respectful to the child.

2) Related to misbehaviors.

3) Reasonable duration of punishment.

4) Helpful to encourage change

Related means the consequence must be related to the behavior. Respectful means the consequence must not involve blame, shame or pain; and should be kindly and firmly enforced. It is also respectful to everyone involved. Reasonable means the consequence must not include piggy backing and is reasonable from the child’s point of view as well as the adult’s. Helpful means it will encourage change for everyone involved. If any of the Three Rs and an H is missing, it can no longer be called a logical consequence. These could also be renamed as the Three Rs and an H for Focusing on Solutions.

We believe that practicing this sort of approach will bear more fruit than simply drawing more attention to the negatives of the consequences and invoking fear of discipline, rather than motivation for reward or even Related correction.

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