Avoiding the Right/Wrong Game When Implementing Consequences
By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
You are now ready to implement. Everything is in order. There is no way this discipline system can fail. You are primed for success.
We create a lot of problems for ourselves as educators when we make students wrong for their actions. Think about the last time someone made you wrong for something. Remember it. Can you hear it? Can you feel it? There is a good chance you wanted to be right in that instance. Wanting to be right is a natural tendency.
To be right about something, the mind needs a subject to be right about and someone to be in the wrong. Think of the last time you were right. There is a good chance someone else was wrong. When we make ourselves right, we simultaneously make someone else wrong. When we make anyone else wrong, they in turn want to be right. They can only do this by making us wrong.
For example, if you have a troublemaker in your class and you make that student wrong, he or she will immediately want to be right. That would be okay, except that when a troublemaker wants to be right, he or she has to make you wrong. The only way a troublemaker knows to make you wrong is to make more trouble! Then you get after the troublemaker for making more trouble and he or she thinks, "She's picking on me," "He's mean," or "She's not fair." So in the troublemaker’s mind, you're wrong and he or she is right.
By definition, when you make someone else wrong for something, you are creating sides, and the other side will seek to make you wrong. So if you make students wrong, you are personally creating the other side of the issue. If you make troublemakers wrong for being troublemakers, they will take sides against you and make more trouble. You are asking for it. You become the source of your own persecution.
Help students become aware that you see them as more than their behavior. Let your words reflect the belief that they are much more than their actions. They are developing human beings full of spirit and potential. They will have a better chance of reaching that potential if you refrain from making them wrong.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the coauthors of Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children: Practical Strategies for Parents and Teachers to Help Children Manifest a Better World. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for educators and another for parents. To sign up for the newsletters or learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today: www.chickmoorman.com and www.thomashaller.com