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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Our If/Then Chart

"But I wanna do what I wanna do."

I hear that phrase quite often.

Because the Tongginator is oppositionally defiant, y'all. If you don't know what that means, I hope you realize how truly blessed you are.

Or maybe you should know what oppositionally defiant means, but you don't, and you privately think some of your friends are crazy when they describe their children as strong-willed... because their children have NOTHING on your child.


That was me until about a month ago ten months ago.

My friends who describe their children as strong-willed aren't simply whining: their children ARE strong-willed. But that means - gasp! - that the Tongginator is one step up from being strong-willed: she is 100% oppositionally defiant.

Tonggu Grammy, my sister KitKat and my friend Canuck K have been telling me that fact for over six months almost two years now. I, however, With Infinite Wisdom and Great Maturity, stuck my fingers in my ears and sang "la, la, la!!!!" at the top of my lungs.

Not anymore.

I've pulled my fingers out of my ears and stopped singing.

You can say thank you now.

(I'm tone-deaf.)

Recently I created a behavior chart that is beginning to work truly worked it's magic for almost a year now. Actually, I don't think magic is the best word to use, since I based the chart entirely on Biblical principles. My sister KitKat loaned me a really old book called For Instruction in Righteousness by Pam Forster. I also dusted off my copy of Lisa Whelchel's Creative Correction.

Thank you, God.

And thank you, KitKat.

Here is a picture of our new behavior chart (click on the photo to see a larger version):

I love how all of the "offenses" include Scriptural references so that God's Word is final. I even more enjoy how all of the "consequences" tie in with Scriptural references.

My personal favorites?

One would be the consequence for "failure to use bathroom appropriately." Yes, I know. Please feel sorry for me. We've experienced it all -- I won't go into details, but just know that it's been Fun Times at Tonggu House this past year. I once wrote a blog post entitled "The Ebb and Flow of Pee," but the Husband wouldn't allow me to post it.

Which was probably a good idea.

Although it WAS really, really funny bordering on hysterical (take your pick as to which definition of hysterical I intended).

But anyway, the consequence for "failure to use bathroom appropriately" is "loss of pants." This means we stay home for the rest of the day, y'all. Because one needs to wear something on the bottom half of one's body if one wants to appear in public. The Biblical Scripture to defend this consequence is Proverbs 13:18, "Whoever ignores discipline shall come to poverty and shame."

Get it? Poverty - no pants. Shame - no pants. I love it!!!! Not because I am vengeful, but because we've drastically reduced our number of bathroom incidents since first implementing The Chart.

Angels are singing with me, y'all.

Another favorite is the consequence relating to the offense "using mean words" (Proverbs 27:2). If the Tongginator speaks negatively to a peer or adult, she loses the privilege of speaking for 10 minutes. The Scripture to back it up? Psalm 12:3-4. "The Lord cuts off all flattering lips and boastful tongues." And what are mean words if not expressions of pride?

I could go on and on raving about The Chart. That's because, in reality, I'm raving about God's Word as the final authority when it comes to discipline in Tonggu House.

Finally, after three years of parenting, I'm starting to get it right.

Thank you, God, for not giving up on me.

This behavior chart works for me. What works for you?

Reposted, with slight editing, from my archives (June 10, 2008).


Patricia/NYC said...

LOVE IT!! May have to "borrow" it!
Seriously suspecting "Oppositionally Defiant" behavior here too...
I had to laugh at "Haughty Looks" - I get them all the time, the eye-rolls complete with the sighs & the shake of the head....she. is. only. 4!!!!

Please keep us posted on this!

Stefanie said...

My favorite was "Waking Others Up In The Morning"... don't know why, but I almost giggled just imagining the Tongginator jumping on your bed at 5:00AM. Probably not too funny to you, though, eh? ;)
GREAT idea. I've seen something similar, but I love the stickers and pictures to help explain it all.
One question: how exactly do you enforce the 'Lose Right to Speak'? If ONLY I could get this one to work in my house...

Jill said...

Ummmm, I think you get my girl. Yep, I think you may just GET her...
See, only my hubby and I do. All the others are so willing to just GLOSS OVER everything..
So, how does one enforce the rule that if something "unkind" is said that there is no speech for 10 minutes??
I'm just sayin'.
Hugs, Jill

Myrnie said...

Love it, Momma. It's so true- Heavenly Father is the best parent. We would all do well to think a little more about His parenting methods and less about what others might suggest. Good luck, hope it keeps going so well!

~*Michelle*~ said...

Very creative....and effective I am sure!

I am def. posting this on my fridge for all the kids (old and young) to remind them.
"using mean words" (Proverbs 27:2)

Thanks and have an awesome day praising Him!

Tonggu Grammy said...

She is my beloved oppositionally defiant grandchild!!! And Tonggu Grammy breaks all the rules for waking people early in the morning. Since I'm a morning person she just jumps into bed with me and snuggles as much as a wiggly body can.

Aunt LoLo said...

I loved it then, I love it now...and I'm beginning to see that I can learn a lot about how to raise my kids by how you're raising YOURS.

(BBJ does best with if/then statements. If you get up from the table, then dinner is over. If you want to go to the store, then you need to get your shoes...

I can't wait until I get to take away her pants! LOL)

Jennifer said...

Another reason I love reading other mom's blogs... I get great ideas! We aren't quite ready for this type of chart at 18 months old, but I already e-mailed your post to myself and stuck it in my parenting folder to review when the time comes. What I like best though, is that it makes God's word the final authority.

Have you read Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp? I just started listening to a conference he did recently on the same subject and have been really moved to teach my child about God as the authority and not me. (I just read some don't like his teachings on corporal punishment, which I'm not familiar with, but I do agree with what I've heard so far.)

In case you are interested, here is the audio from the seminar - Shepherding a Child's Heart

Dorsey said...

I absolutely LOVE this idea, now I'm wondering if it will work on teens.

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

you're awesome! I totally want to recreate it, but I don't think I can. At approx what age did you start it? Changes since?

Carolina Mama said...

Brilliant! I sooo want to get me one of these. :) Great ideas.

Janet said...

WOW! That sounds GREAT! I will be using the mean words one on my kiddos. I like it. I like it a lot.

Anonymous said...

i hope i remember this when i'm a mom.

Flamingo Mama said...

Wow...what a great idea. I loved Lisa Whelchel's book. I always admire people that read a good book and implement something from it. Someday I hope to obtain implementation status:)

CC said...

How did I not read this before??????????

Can you pass it along? We all want to cheat off of you. And heaven knows I don't want to make my own.

And the funny thing about this is that my "update" on Facebook RIGHT NOW is that I find it so amusing that I can send a "IF--THEN" chart on Facebook using "SLP gifts". Is that what inspired you to re-post this one??

Oh, and what the consequences for stealing food from people at school. Cuz we so need that one right now. Ugly hair? Wearing SHOES? WALKING instead of driving to school???

RamblingMother said...

totally getting these books because theraplay isn't really cutting it or rather it would be if G were RAD but not just in control.

Michelle said...

This is AWESOME!!! I took the Creative Correction Bible Study and loved it. But this is wonderful!! It took me a while to figure out Loss of Doggy Isolation, though. LOL

Dita said...

Oh, how I know about Opp/Def...we live it over here with a few extras thrown in for good measure. Even after I had a black and white diagnosis in hand by several specialists I didn't want to believe it. I believe it now!! It hasn't really gotten easier with time but I think I have mellowed a bit so that takes the edge off. Unless you've lived with a child like this there is no true understanding of how downright frustrating it can be!

Doug and Terrye said...

OMGoodness!!! I am so going to copy this!!! Just remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery :)

Terrye in FL