June 11, 2014

I'm a believer!

It worked!  My boys are back on track!  The behavior chart has worked very, very well.  I was extremely reluctant to start this behavior modification system; to be perfectly honest, I felt my family was above this sort of thing.  Boy, was I wrong.  You may remember it was the terrible tornadoes who masqueraded as my children last week who created a desperation that forced me to resort to green-yellow-red blocks, sticker charts and prize baskets.

There are several reasons this has worked so well.  First, it removed all the emotions surrounding discipline.  When something untoward happens I don't have to get angry, hurt or resentful--I just have to get up and change the color of a block.  Secondly, the structure and visuals build scaffolding to help the boys achieve better behavior.  With great hindsight, I realize that I was expecting my children to behave but not giving them the tools to do so.  It was as if I were on the roof of a building yelling down to them,  "Get up here.  Get up here, right now!" without providing them a ladder.  Now they have a ladder and can choose to climb as high as they wish.  They can even see when things are getting wobbly and they need to steady themselves.  Finally, the consistency is welcome.  Each day's expectations are the same as yesterday.  Success builds more success.

 I think Liam's expression above says it all.  Today he was on green all day!


  1. This is great!! Was there a particular resource you used to set up you system? I'd heard of discipline charts but never the red-yellow-green blocks, this seems very useful.

    So glad for you all that things are getting back on track

    1. I just cobbled together the best of what I've read here and there. I've seen a lot of good ideas in teacher's classrooms so I guess I borrowed from the best!

  2. I'm so glad your boys are back to their sweet selves!

  3. Oh, this makes perfect sense! In fact, I think that I could have used something like this tonight to de-escalate bad behavior. I'd love to see the details of your chart.

    (And as I wrote this, Dragons Love Tacos popped up in the "Boys are Reading" tab to the right - I love that book!)

  4. I'm so very glad to hear things are going so much better! I totally agree about removing emotion from discipline. I try to do that, with varying degrees of success. Mostly I'm so very happy to 'hear' how happy you are. I can feel and hear the happiness jumping off the post :)!

  5. Glad you found something that works for you!