How to use confrontation with your children. Here are steps parents can use to teach children that they have choices as to which type of consequence they will receive. When children experience positive consequences for appropriate and respectful behavior as well as corrective consequences for inappropriate or disrespectful behavior, they learn that it is to their advantage to do the right thing, to follow family rules or to change their negative behavior.
There are no good children or bad children. Children learn inappropriate or bad behaviors and learn good or appropriate behaviors. This can happen because we purposefully reinforce these behaviors or because we reinforce these behaviors on accident. We can change these behaviors though and using confrontation can be very helpful in doing this. I have listed step by step instructions for using confrontation. Children always have a choice in how they behave, this can help teach children the choices that are more beneficial or appropriate for them and the family.
Steps to using confrontation
Tell your child what you expect
- Use a pleasant voice
- Give the child a reason using clear instructions
- Praise your child he/she complies with your request
If your child does not comply with your request, use confrontation
- Look at your child, using continuous eye contact
- Move close to your child, within touching distance
- Put on a disapproving/ serious facial expression
- Give a brief statement of what you expect, no questions or lectures. “Do it now”
- Use a calm, serious, low voice, whisper if possible
- Praise your child if he/she complies with your request
- Praise your child for the next respectful behavior also (disapprove of the behavior, not the child)
If your child still does not comply with your request use either:
“If you do not ______, then you will have to _____.”
This can be used if your child does not ave a choice and must comply.
“First you _______, before anything else.”
Praise if your child complies with your request.
Follow through with the consequence
Praise your child for the next respectful behavior.