Paper chains are timeless…in the sense that they have been a favored countdown medium for generations. In our house, we use them to count the days to vacations, visitors, holidays, and even disciplinary actions.
Right now we have two chains going – one for Halloween, where a certain 3-year-old is looking forward to her wings and pixie dust as she imitates her favorite fairy. The other chain is counting the days until she gets to watch TV again. This discipline chain is not a favorite one in the house for anyone, but when certain, unacceptable actions call for it, it’s one of the best ways for a young one to understand when a longer “time out” period is over. In this case, we cut off TV for two weeks, baseline. She cut the 14 paper links herself and helped me glue them together. Every day that she has a good day (listens to mom/dad/teachers, does not hit/kick/scream/talk back) she gets to take a link off. This way, she controls how long her discipline actually lasts, and it’s a reminder that certain behavior is not to be tolerated. One of her preschool teachers gave me this idea and, so far, it’s working – we’re 5 for 5.
How do you help your children understand their discipline?