Kids make lots of mistakes. They do things they shouldn’t do for reasons they aren’t aware of. They are impulsive and reactive and are resistant to making the right choice – even when they know the consequences are great.
When kids misbehave most parents go through a process that looks something like this:
1. Child misbehaves
2. Time-out is given
3. Child calms down
4. Activity is resumed
While this sequence is effective for most parents – it misses a crucial step. Processing what happened. Without processing behavior, children don’t learn anything. When children are in time-out they aren’t thinking about what they should have done. They’re not thinking about how awful they’ve been acting. They’re only thinking about how much longer they have to stay in time out!
To help children learn from their mistakes they have to become aware of why they were acting that way in the first place. As Albert Einstein said…
“Problems can’t be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”
To help children gain awareness they must learn to process their behavior. A great way of doing this is by using a kid-friendly Think Sheet that asks some key questions that will help them begin to understand themselves.
Childhood is all about learning. Kids will make mistakes but the sooner they understand why they are making them, the easier the transition will be to making better choices.