In this helpful parenting packet, Donna Reish (of Raising Kids With Character seminar, Homeschooling With Character seminar, and Character Ink Press and blog) offers three worksheets to help parents of tweens and teens work through some of the difficult heart behaviors (described in The Four D’s of Behavior podcast episode and Handling Heart Behaviors of Tweens podcast episode).
The worksheets included are designed to be used first by the parents (to determine ahead of time the behaviors that need changed and the way these behaviors will be handled) and then by the parents with the child. They help parents take these behaviors (disrespect, fighting, and disobedience) from gray (“Don’t talk to Mom like that”; “Quit fighting”; and “I’m not telling you again…go do it!”) to black and white (where everybody knows what is expected and what the consequences will be for infractions).
All of the worksheets have the same general steps (with spaces to fill in) to begin with:
(1) Make a list of unacceptable behaviors
(2) Make the list of consequences/plan for carrying them out
(3) Choose signaling words and phrases to be used when the offense is committed
(4) Determine what the appropriate/acceptable response from the child will be.
Additionally, each page has its own signaling words laid out for parents and child. The Disrespect Sheet has the “changing tone” signaling words in order to give the child a chance to change his tone and realize how he is speaking. The Disobedience Sheet has the “no response rule” with appropriate signaling words for that rule. Finally, the Fighting Sheet has the “no accusing signaling words” to help children change how they “tell on someone” and the “will you stop” signaling words to keep the request civil and circumvent potential fighting. These worksheets were developed after thirty-three years of Christian parenting—and they really work!