Work with the child to identify consequences and write them on the board. If the child or young person deserves a reward get them to spin the spinner to find out what that reward will be. If they do something that is not appropriate give them two choices ‘do as I have asked or spin the spinner’. If they carry on behaving inappropriately tell them they have made their choice and they need to spin the spinner.
1 x Dry Wipe Positive Consequence Spinner
1 x Dry Wipe Negative Consequence Spinner
1 x Dry Wipe Fine Line Marker Pen
1 x Instruction sheet
Background to development
We were approached by a parent who felt that she was always telling her son off. She felt that the relationship was beginning to break down as the son blamed her for any consequence he received for poor behaviour, rather than seeing and understanding why the consequence was being given.
We then spoke to schools, early years settings and childminders and found that this was a common problem. That children and young people did not ‘own’ their own behaviour and resented consequences. We were challenged to come up with an idea to support the child to become part of his own behaviour management.
Start with the Positive Consequence Spinner and ask the child or young person what should happen if they deserved praise or a reward. We did this with a group of 10 children aged between 4yrs and 14yrs. The answers were all different and included:
Mum doing my nails
Dad going cycling with me
Having extra minutes of my phone
Going to bed late
Having some sweets
Gain a point or get a sticker
We also asked what would be fair if there needed to be a negative consequence to behaviour. Answers included:
Banned from using mobile phone
Do the washing up
Do the vacuuming
Have a point taken away
One young gentleman told us that when he did something wrong, he had to wash the dog!
After discussion and agreement the consequences are written onto the segments of the two boards. The boards are dry wipe so can be changed regularly. If the child deserves a reward then tell them they can spin their spinner. The reward is then given.
If the child is behaving inappropriately then give them two choices, you can do as I have asked or you spin your spinner. If the child continues to behave inappropriately then tell them they have made their choice and they need to spin their spinner. After doing so, the child cannot argue with you that the consequence to their behaviour was unfair as they were the one that suggested the ideas.
Note that the negative consequences are open ended – it does not say if the child needs to wash up for one day or for the week. It allows the adult to still decide the level of the consequence relating to the reason for spinning the spinner. Try to ensure the consequences for both positive and negative spinners things that can happen immediately and are appropriate to the child. Most children need to have an immediate negative consequence to understand what it relates to.
If the positive consequence cannot be given immediately then a promise note can be given to the child to be cashed in. Make sure you write on the note why the child is being praised and why they deserve a reward. If the negative consequence cannot happen immediately then simply write the date/time on the board in the same consequence segment. Once the consequence has been done, wipe off the date/time. As the misdemeanour has been forgotten.
The boards are totally flexible and can be used in at home or in school. Think about how the boards can be used and what type of consequence would work. See the case study for further information.