AFTER your child has successfully built up a sizable bank of tickets using ECONOMICS 101, try these six steps to reduce unacceptable behavior.
First, make a short list of unacceptable behaviors your child often gets in trouble for.
- Not completing chores, responsibilities
- Not complying with household rules
Next, decide how much you will charge your child for these behaviors. Fines for not completing chores should equal the number of tickets she would have earned for completing the task. Fines for violations of household rules should be set at a fair but meaningful level.
Next, talk to your child about what will happen. Remind him about your talk last week about how you as parents only get paid for the work you do. Tell your child that sometimes, grown-ups mess up, break rules, and have to pay a fine. Use examples such as getting a speeding ticket. When you break this rule, you have to pay money to the city or state.
Next, explain to your child that starting this week, she will be fined for not completing chores and not following the rules of the household. Tell your child how much she will be fined for these violations. If necessary, write this down and post it in a place where you and your child can both refer to these charges.
Finally, follow-through consistently with fining your child for violations, but…
BEWARE OF THE “PUNISHMENT PARENT TRAP”
This can happen whenever your child throws a temper tantrum as a result of being fined. In response to her temper-tantrum, you fine her more tickets and then she gets mad and impulsively yells or swears. If you fine your child again, you are at risk of losing the motivation associated with this system.