“Nicholeen, I have made myself a chart so that I can remember what comes next when correcting my child.” said my friend Pennie one day.
When I saw Pennie's chart, I was impressed. She knew exactly what people needed. Time after time, conference call after conference call, I describe what to do next when a child doesn't want to follow an instruction or accept a no answer etc. The correction process makes total sense in my mind. But, I remember when I was doing foster care and trying to remember what came next as well. It's hard to stay consistent when you don't remember what to do or say next.
After I saw Pennie's genius chart, our TSG Team started working to make a chart that all families could use. After months of work, this chart is now available to help families be more prepared for interactions.
Pennie made the chart for herself, so we made it for parents too. But, as we were going along, we realized that the chart was also going to be really useful for children who learn visually as well. The chart helps children see what choices they have and how they can move back to a more positive path.
This week one of my other good friends contacted me about the chart. Jose Aponte, the father in the Family Tutorial DVD, said, “Nicholeen, your choices chart is awesome! It was just what we needed. It has been so good for our family.
“Jacky got the chart from you at the conference in Virginia and took it home to laminate it. She put a really stiff laminate on it so that we can use it with the children. Just the other day, our daughter was not following an instruction and not acting like she really wanted to get calm, so Jacky pulled the chart out and showed it to her. She explained to our daughter where she was on the chart and then explained where she could choose to go with her behaviors. She showed her one of the sad faces on the chart and said, 'Jacqueline this is what your face looks like right now. If you stay like this, then this is the next step and the next. It's your choice. Where do you want to go with your behaviors?”
When I heard this story, I was thrilled! This is exactly what we envisioned happening. We wanted something parents could use to stay consistent and to help children remember what their choices are.
The choices chart is the perfect pre-teaching tool for self-government training at home.