Questions, Questions | Teaching Self-Government

Questions, Questions

In the past couple of months I have been swamped with questions.  I am so sorry if I have not been able to answer your question in a reasonable time.  With the filming of the BBC show and trying to work on my book, as well as doing  regular life stuff I have had  a lot of my time taken up.  Here are a few really brief answers to some of the recent questions. 

I know you've mentioned this before, but how do you handle it when you're children answer a question with "I don't know."  Usually, when my kids say this, it just seems like they're too lazy to think something through, or they know the answer, but don't want to say it.

I try not to ask questions like, "Why did you?....Why didn't you?...etc."  Those are always answered with "I don't know."  But, if you ask an important question and the answer is "I don't know" then you have to ask yourself another question.  Is this person telling the truth?  Do they really not know?  If that is the case, then you need to teach them to communicate honestly.  And make sure your environment a "safe place to make mistakes and tell the truth."  I have written posts about communicating honestly.  Refer to those for more information.

 I just bought your cd's and am working hard to implement things in our home.  We've been working on the 4 basics for a while.  My almost 7 yr old was totally "out of instructional control" this morning, I went through the rule of 3's and he earned 24 hours without privileges.  So what exactly does that look like?  I guess I'm not certain what sort of things are privileges and what's not.  Reading books?  listening to stories on mp3 player?  School work- is it a privilege or not?
If he chooses to lose his privileges for 24 hours then he his earning to do work and problem solving exercises.  This is how we do it at our house.  No reading books, or mp3 players etc.these are all privileges.  I do separate school from negative consequences though.  In all reality, school is a privilege.  But, for our home, we say school time is different from free time.  So, during school time my children participate in school and then right when summer school ends, they have to follow through with their 24 hours if that is what they chose to earn. 
Hopefully, your child will not think it's a good idea to lose his privileges again for 24 hours, but sometimes they have to test the family system a few times before they decide to control their behaviors themselves. 
May God bless your family while you make adjustments at home.  Whenever you don't know what to do, go back to the principles and pray. 
Nicholeen Peck
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