(Just so you know, "I will not do it again", in my opinion, is a pointless sentence to repeat.)
As I re-throne myself as the queen of this monarchy, I'm finding a few bad habits.
I LOVE to teach in a fun, effective way.
Although I don't hit my kids with a ruler, I do adopt a few old fashioned ideas.
When a couple kids turned the TV on after school and insisted they FORGOT they had to ask first, I smiled and asked them write 100 times "I will ask before I watch TV." (To help them remember.)
-You act like you don't really care if they do it or not, but hope they write quickly so they can join the family for fun stuff- like dinner. Then, walk away!! Don't sit there arguing with them if they whine about it.
While my kids were writing, the other kids wanted to play a fun game outside. The younger convict cried that she wanted to go out too. After some pleading from the older kids, I did let them help their younger sister. I think each kid wrote 5 sentences for her. Darling.
A couple days later, there was a repeat offender. I simply asked her, with a big, real smile on my face, if she remembered the rule about watching TV? She argued, "I thought Eve (the two year old) already asked." I smiled and handed her a pencil and paper. The second time I told her to make her I's extra bold. "I will ask before I watch TV." (We taped her sentences up near the TV.)
-When making up sentences, keep them short and POSITIVE. Say what they will do, not reminding them what you don't want them to do. "I will not spit water at my mother" for example, is a bad sentence. It even makes me want to go spit water. :)
-Little kids need you to write the first sentence at the top of the page, so they can copy it. Really little kids can trace your letters. Write "I love to share." Or, for a hitting child, "I will be SOFT." Sometimes just the word "K I N D".
-And, I insist they write the whole sentence. Not, 100 "I" then 100 "will" then 100 "be". I want them repeating to themselves "I will be kind."
This is a GREAT way to distract and teach. It is especially good for kids who are smart and busy. Smart kids will quickly learn that it takes less effort to listen than it does to write.
Sometimes I need a faster consequence.
I use VERBAL sentences.
Today, I had a child say 30 times (or 10 fingers three times) "I will listen the FIRST time."
The second time I had her repeat the sentences she wasn't so happy about doing it. I asked her if she thought I enjoyed repeating "Go get dressed first" to her 30 times. She laughed and repeated her sentences.
Sometimes I have them SING to me. "I want to be kind to everyone, for that is right you see. So I say to myself, remember this. Kindness begins with me." Or, "When we're helping we're happy." Or, "If you chance to meet a frown." Or, "Little bunny Foo Foo." Love it.
-To help children remember and learn, they need to ACT. Writing, singing, repeating sentences, clearing their plate 47 times, etc., helps them to use their agency to learn. It works. I think. (Obviously I still need these tactics so I'm no expert. Ha.)
-Don't go crazy with how many you tell them to say or write. I'd say, long enough to get their attention and be annoying to them, but not so long that they are discouraged and apathetic. Ten for little kids. 30 for middle. 100 for kids too big to be needing this reminder. :)
-Yes, I make my big kids have silly consequences. BECAUSE they are teaching the little kids. When they say, "Really Mom?" I tell them, if you are going to teach my little kids to be sassy, I'm going to use you as an example of what happens when you are sassy." 100 times, "I am happy taking out the trash the FIRST time my beloved mother asks me to." Ha. I really haven't had to use that on them yet, but I would.
I also love funny sentences like, "I will ALWAYS talk KINDLY to my favorite mother." Or, "When my mother calls me, QUICKLY I'll obey."
-The first time you tell them the sentence to say, say it in a happy, emphasizing voice.
-Have them say their sentences loud. Everyone heard them be unkind, let everyone hear them being kind. I say, "smile while you say them, talk in your sweetest voice."
Just some ideas I have for teaching your kids...
Fun and Effective.
If I'm going to spend my whole day teaching little stinks, I have to find some way to keep a smile on my face.
I really like sentence repetition.
They ALL laugh when I start repeating. "I will ALWAYS talk sweetly."
Oh, how I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being a mother.
(I'm typing this on my phone one handed while Ben sleeps in my arms. Yesterday I made Beef Stew and pumpkin bread and homemade granola. Today we are decorating pumpkins and going apple picking.)
Life is lovely, just lovely!!)