14 strategies parents need to know
Get children involved in finding solutions to the cause of their misbehavior or mistake that are 1) related, 2) respectful, 3) reasonable and 4) helpful (the "three Rs and an H").
Making amends is a solution that is encouraging when used in a non-punitive manner, because children experience the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and correct any resulting problems. Making amends is encouraging because children learn they can be responsible and accountable for their behavior without fear of blame, shame and pain.
It is sad that some adults think it is more important for children to feel blame, shame and pain for what they have done than to make amends and experience encouragement that will motivate them to stop misbehaving. It is important to note that children do not get away with misbehavior when they are encouraged to make amends. They learn to be accountable, while keeping their dignity and respect intact.
For example, when your daughter bops a baseball through the garage window and together you decide that the solution is to fix the window (with materials purchased with her allowance), you have arrived at a solution that is related, respectful, reasonable and helpful. So long as you stay out of a blaming mode and see the mistake as an opportunity to learn, you have practiced problem-solving skills and respect with your child, and you have enjoyed some quality time together. When focusing on solutions, one life skill that is often needed is calling for a cooling off period (see strategy 9).
A Story from Jane: Ravindra, the custodian in an elementary school, caught five students defacing classroom doors. He spoke to them respectfully and together they decided they would make amends by helping him repaint the doors. He was so understanding that he inspired the boys to take pride in their work and to discourage other children from vandalizing. He had successfully used three Positive Discipline tools: 1) focusing on solutions, 2) creating a connection before correction and 3) redirecting the misbehavior.
After finding a way for Anjali to participate in the daily puja, the Gowda family was amazed to witness an immediate change in her demeanor. Being the middle child, she needs a little extra responsibility to feel that she is an important member of the family.