To discipline kids with PEACE takes a little practice. Our expert parenting author and coach, Kathy Slattengren, will show you how. She is borrowing this strategy from expert, Becky Bailey ,because parents everywhere deserve to know about it. Let's find out what it is and 2 examples from Kathy on how to use it.
Helping Children Solve Their Own Problems
When children come to us with a problem, it can be tempting to just solve the problem for them. However, if we want them to learn to solve similar problems in the future, it is better to guide them through finding a solution.
In her book, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, Becky Bailey describes a process to help children solve their own problems[i]. She uses the acronym PEACE to make the steps easier to remember:
1. Discern who owns the Problem.
2. Offer Empathy to the child.
3. Ask the child to think, “What do you think you are going to do?”
4. Offer Choices and suggestions.
5. Encourage the child to come up with his own solution."
The Little Sister Problem Using PEACE:
"Let’s look at an example of using this process. Suppose 4-year-old Ben runs to us crying because his 2-year-old sister Anna has knocked down his block structure. Here’s how it might go:
1. We realize this is Ben’s problem.
2. We show empathy by hugging Ben and saying “I can see you’re really sad. I know how hard you worked on building that.”
3. We ask Ben “What do you think you are going to do?”
4. Ben comes up with one idea; he wants to hit his sister. We quickly ask what is likely to happen if he does that! He decides not to do this but doesn’t know what else to do. We offer the idea that he could build with the blocks in his room with the door shut. Ben rejects this idea because he wants to build in the living room. We suggest he could build when Anna is napping. Ben also rejects this idea.
5. We say “I’m sure you’ll find a good solution.” We’ve given him a couple ideas and we are leaving him with the responsibility for coming up with his own solution."
The Homework Problem Using PEACE:
"Here’s one more example of using this process. This time let’s pretend our 10-year-old daughter comes to us upset because she’s forgotten her math assignment at school and it’s due tomorrow.
Here’s how we might handle it:
1. We remember this is our daughter’s problem since it’s her homework.
2. We show empathy by saying “I can understand why you are upset.”
3. We ask her “What do you think you are going to do?”
4. She’s thought about going back to school to get it but she knows the teacher is
already gone and the classroom door is locked. She doesn’t know what else to do. We suggest calling a classmate to see if she can get a copy of the homework. When we ask her how this might work out, she replies that she’s going to try giving
Sara a call.
5. We say “Great! I hope she can give you a copy of the homework
or read off the problems to you.” We leave it up to her to call Sara and resolve
Once again we are guiding our child through the problem without providing the solution or insisting on what she should do.
This excerpt is from pages 21 and 22 of Kathy's book, Priceless Parent Guidebook.
Let give Kathy Slattengren a BIG HAND for teaching us Becky Bailey's PEACE process using Kathy's examples.
Kathy coaches Parents worldwide. To find out more go to Coach with Kathy.
Sit back, relax, and share your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for using PEACE when disciplining your kids. Please answer in the comment link below. We want to hear from you.
Jean Tracy, MSS
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