"How do you take away all privileges from younger kids? My 3.5 year old is really pushing… This post was the first time I really understood the “lose all privileges for 24 hours” thing. I can figure out how to do that with my 6 and 8 year olds, but the younger ones, I just can’t see it. Can you give me a visual please? Thanks!"
In our family economy the children can't lose all their privileges for 24 hours under age 5. Each house hold may vary on this depending on what you see your children are able to follow through with and on what you feel is best for teaching cause and effect in the home.
So, if my four year old goes out of instructional control, he will first be taken to time out, as a trigger place to change his emotions, and then teaching and practice of appropriate behaviors will happen when he is calm. This is a short loss of privileges time for young children. I would recommend this for a three year old.
However, there is also another scenario that we use for our four year old. He is old enough to earn extra chores and lose privileges. If he chooses not to follow an instruction, he earns an extra chore. (We also do lots of teaching and practice as well of course.) If he won't follow the second instruction in the rule of three, then he earns 30 minutes of work time. If he doesn't follow the third, and last instruction, then he earns 24 hours with no snack privilege.
I have found that loosing snack privilege is the worst part of losing privileges for my children, so if I have to pick one privilege to matter to them, that is it.
I have also found that children under age 5 can't focus on staying away from playing etc for 24 hours. They will end up not accepting their consequence if they are not watched, because their attention span is so short. However, losing snack is still a loss and doesn't require a developed attention span. As long as there is a house rule that children ask for snacks before they eat them, then the parent just has to say NO to make sure that the young child accepts his consequence.
Tip: Make sure to pre-teach your little one that you are going to give him a NO answer to the snack be fore you actually give the NO. Also, have him repeat the steps to you before you give the NO as well. Then he will be able to accept his consequence successfully.
Pick your own economy. Choose the consequences that you feel will work best for your family.