Thursday, October 26, 2017

Finding Hope: Over Correction



It's hard to know what to do when you've done everything you can to prevent a negative behavior, and one happens anyway. In this segment, we're going to talk about over correction.

Imagine you're sitting at home, peacefully reading or working on a project, when you realize your child has been VERY quiet. You know the quiet I'm talking about-the one EVERY parent dreads. When you find your angel you also find your wall covered in a crayon you didn't even know existed. Your child has been told at least 1.5 million times DO NOT WRITE ON THE WALLS! I know for us, we have a rule that he can only mark on paper that is designated as art paper. So, what do you do?

Imagine you go outside, and your child has marked ON THE side of the house. Perhaps they have marked on the bathroom mirror? Or maybe they have played with shampoo all over the tub? Maybe they have thrown clean laundry all over the living room floor? The possibilities are endless, but the consequence can be the same-over correction.

Say Little Johnny takes a crayon and marks a 1ft by 1ft section of the living room wall, most would either put little Johnny in Timeout and clean it themselves, or make Little Johnny clean only the markings. And then of course, little Johnny goes on to do it again...and again...and again. I know this was the case for my own Little Johnny! That's when we started doing something called Over Correction.

My son used to take a bar of soap and he'd rub it all over the bathroom mirror, and even the wall, as if it was a crayon. He had been told this was unacceptable, and the same as writing on the wall, and I would go in there and clean it up every time. Then came the fateful day I had had enough! So Mr. B was not only made to clean off the soap, but he was made to clean off the soap, clean down the sink, the toilet, the bathtub, the other walls, and ultimately the floor. Yes...his transgression of marking the mirror with soap led to an over correction of him having to clean the entire bathroom as a consequence. Not long ago he marked on the floor of the porch, so he was made to clean the entire porch.

Over correction is when they mess up one small area of a larger zone, and as a consequence of that behavior they must clean the entire zone. Little Johnny throws laundry all over the living room? Then little johnny has to pick up the laundry, fold it, put it away, and clean up the living room. After a handful of times, the joy they get from making the huge mess pales in comparison to the dread they have when they know they are going to have to clean up not only that mess, but a larger area as well.

18 comments:

  1. While my husband and I don't have kids yet, it's always helpful to learn parenting tips. Thanks for sharing this one about over correction and what you've learned from it!

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    1. Thanks for the comment! It really does work wonders after a while. Now that he's learning Mommy isn't the one who is going to be cleaning up his messes, he's much less likely to cause them in the first place!

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  2. I am glad it works with your little boy. I’m afraid that some of my children might not have reacted as well when they were growing up.

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    1. He didn't react well at all. But there comes a point in time when Mom has had enough. I was spending so much time fixing and cleaning up after something he knew better than to do, that I couldn't get anything else done.

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  3. Hmm... That's an interesting way to resolve the problem and tie the discipline in with the infraction.

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    1. Exactly! The joy they get from the behavior pales in comparison to the unhappiness of the cleaning aspect.

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  4. Over correction certainly can be a form of natural consequences when the behavior continues to take place. It's also important to understand the emotion driving the behavior and what benefit the behavior is producing. Both can also be helpful in understanding where the behavior is coming from. God bless you and your family!

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    1. You are so correct. I addressed that somewhat in the first post of this series. Behaviors are learned, in one way or another. And each behavior has a reason. It's very important to understand the reason behind the behavior!

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  5. Thank you for sharing what over-correction is. I'm not sure if this would work with my kids. I enjoy learning about how others deal with infractions.

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    1. To be honest, I didn't think it would work with mine! But it does!

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  6. I have yet to experience this with my son, but I imagine it's necessary to overcorrect for those children that do continue to disobey. And really, this overcorrection is within reason; there are some parents, however, that do take it to extremes and that's when it can be damaging to the child.

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    1. There are some parents who just....make my blood boil. Everything within reason, and within normal capacity for the behavior.

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  7. I don't have kids yet but this is such a good tip. I appreciate it.

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    1. Kids are the most wonderful beings in the world. And also the most destructive HAHA! Most welcome!

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  8. Please hear me when I tell you I am not passing any judgement on you as a parent or personally. I just happen to read this and I was thinking I am so grateful that God doesn't over correct me because I'm sure I deserve it. There were things I did when I first came to Christ that He probably should have just struck me dead, but He didn't. He just kept pouring out His love and after a while I quit doing those things. I realize that is different than raising your child with autism, and you know your child best, just like God knows us best.

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    1. I'm talking about misbehavior that continuously occurs, and that can be dangerous or destructive in nature. At 3, should a child mark on a wall in a store, etc. that's just a kid being a kid. But at 12, if my son did that, then it becomes criminal. At 2 or 3, one expects accidents in a bathroom, but at 12 when something is done on purpose it becomes willful destruction. Timeout doesn't always work. Taking things away rarely works. But over correction in the matter of "you're not just cleaning up the 1ft x 1ft area, but the entire area" becomes a necessity to make the joy the child receives out of doing the "bad thing" pale in comparison to the work the child is going to have to do in order to fix what he/she has destroyed.

      I understand your comment, but as a parent it is also my God given duty to raise him to be a productive member of society one day. And that entails making sure he doesn't hurt himself, others, or property. God bless, and thank you for the comment!

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  9. This week one child used a erasable marker to write on the concrete walk way. After her masterpiece was finished and I found it, she had the luxury of scrubbing it until it was gone. I’m not sure that “punishment” worked as she exclaimed how fun it was and wanted to do it again! Lol!

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    1. HAHA! I've had that happen here, too!

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