Restorative discipline is an easy to learn, proven method to help everyone involved in the bullying to heal.
You may find due to bullying beliefs or an old school attitude..."we will do what we have always done even if it does not work... it is what we know" that restorative practices is not an option.
However, that should not stop you from using it in your home. It acknowledges the worth of the bully and the victim. It allows everyone involved to regain respect and well being. I hope the following guidelines set you and your child on the road to recovery from bullying. (And, going forward it is any excellent parenting tool to have at your disposal)
Discipline allows everyone to feel heard, respected and keeps their dignity in tact.
And discipline verses punishment prevents you from becoming a bullying parent.
1) We start by stopping the interaction immediately.
"Hey, full stop" or "Whoa, break it up"
2) We then seperate the child/ren from the action/behaviour. Their behaviour is unacceptable and needs to change however who they are and their worthiness is kept in tact. This gives them ownership of the problem with no if, ands, buts or excuses.
Lets use a sibling squabble as an example " I heard you calling each other names and fighting over the tv". as opposed to "you two are so immature and mean"
3) Then we give each child the opportunity to be heard with out interruption with the simple question "what happened"
4) Each child gets to answer what their part in the squabble was (it takes 2 to fight)
5) Ask them to find a solution. If necessary, guide them through a problem solving process.
6) Ask them how they can avoid this in the future?
7) Give each of them the opportunity to say what they need to say to help each other to feel better. "Sorry, you are not really a jerk..I was just mad about the tv"
Remember: Don't demand an apology...help them figure out what they need to do to make things right again so everyone walks away feeling better and having resolved the issue.
It is their job to figure out what that might be. As the parent you are the guide but do not interrupt unless your assistance is requested.
Discipline helps the child/ren learn actions have consequences, they are responsible for their actions and words, conflict management, problem solving and most importantly the child/ren get to keep their dignity and self worth.
As opposed to punishment which takes all responsibility away from the child and makes them feel unworthy, less than and disrespected. If they get this feeling at home they are more likely to accept bullying outside the home or become a bully to meet the need to feel worthy.
Restorative Discipline is constructive and builds on compassion. It leaves the child feeling better off than when they started and promotes their ability to deal with life in a constructive way.
1) Stop the behaviour
2) Label the behaviour not the child
3) Ask what happened?
4) Problem solve to find a way to fix it and prevent it from happening again
5) Make things right.
How easy is that??
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