No Need for Naughty Lists
He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice. Oh, I so remember singing this song for my own Kindergarten Christmas Pageant. Decades later, this song is still being sung by young children, much to the delight of parents and other onlookers.
Watching kids sing is heartwarming. Following the advice of the song, not so much.
What’s Wrong with Naughty Lists
Naughty Lists have been the mainstay, for Christmas-time behavior control and beyond. You will find various versions of the “Naughty List” any time of year. Consider the “name on the blackboard” or a “check mark next to your name”. Being on Red, Yellow or Green is the same equivalent. As a society, we are all caught up in the notion that threatening, punishing, taking away privileges…and the converse, rewarding with prizes and tangible goods…will transform behavior for life. I believed it, too, once upon a time. And I was wrong.
The Plain Truth Is
The plain truth is, the only way to lasting behavior change is teaching new skills. And the first step to that is building great relationships. The magic lies in the relationship. Once good relationships are established (built on listening, empathy, trust, collaborative problem-solving and a host of other things too lengthy to mention in this post), mountains may be moved.
5 Reasons We Don’t Need Naughty Lists
Naughty lists will become a thing of the past when we realize:
- Solid, loving relationships form the basis of all learning.
- We cannot punish children out of misbehaviors. We can only lead them towards better behaviors by teaching them new skills. Focus on step one first, and then move towards teaching.
- We can build a bridge from where children are to where we’d like them to be, by providing them with new thoughts, words and actions.
- Punishing or publicly shaming children may lead to stopping behavior for the short term, but it does nothing to prevent it from happening again. This short-term gain has us hoodwinked into believing that punishment actually works.
- When we can remove the thought that it is “us” against “them”, and correct the antiquated notion that we need to impose our will upon children, less they become unruly wildebeests, we can get down to the business of really raising GREAT people. The kind of people we will be happy to set free in the world. When we set ourselves squarely in our kids’ corner, we can focus more on helping them gain skills for life.
When kids misbehave, our first thought shouldn’t be “How will I make him pay for this?” Rather, a more effective way would be, “What do I need to teach him to help him do better the next time?”
What do you think? Weigh in below in our comments section!
Helping Kids Do the Right Thing
Here’s our answer to, “What shall I do once I get rid of the ‘Naughty List’?”
You knew the answer would have something to do with skill-building! Well, it does and it does it in a BIG way.
Our new workbook, “No Need for Naughty Lists: Let’s Talk About Being Kind” for kids is jam-packed with some really powerful ways to help kids learn new skills about making good choices and handling situations which otherwise would lead to sibling squabbles or worse.
Here’s a peek:
Find out how to get your copy. See more here!