Knowing What to Do
When You Don't Know What to Do
By: Todd B. Corelli, Ph.D. & Richard L Bednar, Ph.D.
BYU Education Week 2001
Self evaluative thoughts and feelings are what causes self-control. It
encourages and reinforces good behavior by the child. This is better
than trying to make them live under your control over them.
When a child is behaving inappropriately have the child explain to you,
explicitly, his/her behavior. Do this without shamming, brow-beating, or
threatening. In fact, be neutral in you calmness, voice control, and
Ask: "How do you feel about the way you behaved?"
If the child is not willing to describe the behavior then send him/her
to his/her room forever until s/he is ready to talk to you. The child
should only be allowed out for bathroom brakes, noting else, until s/he
When the child is ready to talk, s/he will eventually admit that s/he
was not proud of himself/herself. When the child admits this, then ask,
"Is there a way of behaving that would make you feel better about
- Let the child tell you his/her options.
- If s/he runs out of viable options, you may share some.
Tell him/her that you hope that s/he will choose one of the appropriate
options so they can feel good about himself/herself.
- Always use praise when you see positive behavior. Ask how s/he feels
- We tend only to see the negative behavior. Remember to tell your
children you are proud of their positive behaviors.