Welcome back to Part 2 of guest blogger Amy Stout’s current series. In Part 1, she described a discipline strategy that’s been effective with her daughter who experiences autism. Today she explains how to use this strategy to reinforce spiritual principles.
How to Use a Board to Correct Your Child, Part 1
by Amy Stout
I need to add here that our daughter has an issue of letting things go. If we put her in a time out, she will talk about it all day. She will say “I’m in a time out” and she hangs onto the idea of being in trouble. We had to find a way to communicate to her that the issue, once dealt with, was over and done. It was all done.
so, we came up with this…
It’s All Gone!
After each apology, we hand her the eraser and she gets to erase that line item of offense. (She loves to do this.) When she is all done and all line items are dealt with, we then have her look at the white board and tell us what she sees.
She usually says “It’s all gone!”
We then explain, “Yes! Once we say we are sorry, our sin is gone! We get to start all over with a clean board! God does not remember our sin when we say we are sorry!” She totally relates to this.
We wanted our daughter to know that not only is she disobeying us as her parents but that she is also disobeying God and His word. By showing her that our offenses can be dealt with, she also learns of the wonderful biblical picture of Jesus washing away our sin and God giving us a brand new start. If she still tries to hang on to the time out, we remind her that she washed the board clean, and it is all gone – we can even show her if we need to!
End with Hugs and Snuggles
The very end of our conversation with Kylie includes lots of hugs and snuggles. We want her to know that she is just as loved after as she was before. Sin CAN separate a family, but once it is dealt with, restoration, bonding and relationship can be enjoyed.
This has worked so well for us. I just can’t say enough about it and I praise God for giving us this idea. He really does meet us where we are and satisfies our every need in parenting our children.
If your child cannot read, please don’t fret. This system is easily implemented with pictures, even stick figures. You can teach these same lessons using toys. (Example: Have GI Joe represent Daddy, and Garfield represent the cat.) Even if your child does not read yet, they will still enjoy erasing the line items.
I hope you will let me know if you try out our method! We would love to hear how you creatively alter it to meet your family’s needs. I’d also love to hear what methods you have found on your own that really work to teach your children about obedience and following directions.
Share Your Strategies
Please do leave a comment about discipline methods that work with your kids. Like Amy, I’d also love to hear how you’ve modified her strategy to fit your circumstances. Whether or not you leave a comment, be sure to check out more of Amy’s ideas at her blog www.histreasuredprincess.blogspot.com.