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In this video, discover how to implement the Word Diet, become a Spock Parent, and learn Steps 3 and 4 of the Choice Chart, which are Isolation and Marking the Penalty.

Click here to get PDFs of The Rules, Choice Charts for 1 – 4 children, as well as language you can use to explain the rules and introduce the Choice Chart to your children.

Click here for Word versions of Choice Charts for 1 – 4 children which can be used to customize the chart for your children.

Hi, my name is Cara Day. Welcome to Daychild. Today I’m going to be talking with you about the 3rd and 4th steps of the Choice Chart system, which are the isolation time, and marking the penalty.

In the first video we reviewed the five basic steps of the choice chart:

The Steps

Step 1: Identify the Behavior type
Step 2: Give Verbal Redirection
Step 3: Isolate
Step 4: Mark Penalty
Step 5: Reward with Pay Day Dinner

We learned the 3 Rules that cover any type of behavior your child can display

The Rules

1. We cooperate.
We speak kindly.
We keep our hands, feet and other objects to ourselves.

We then learned how to identify the behavior type as a start, stop, or never behavior. After that, we talked about exactly how to give an effective verbal redirection for each of the behavior types.

Now, let’s get started with step 3, which is to isolate your child. You’ll remember from the second video in this series, that the first part of this is to say, only once, “You have a penalty.” After you say this, your child will serve their penalty in isolation. Before I talk about how to isolate your child, I’d like to talk for a moment about two elements that are critical for becoming a master parent.

Perhaps you’ve been on a diet before, To be an effective parent, you need to go on a Word Diet. Most parents talk wayyyyy too much.

They repeat themselves, effectively saying that what they say the first time means nothing.
They repeat themselves after they say, “I’m only going to say it once.”
They become emotionally triggered and begin lecturing or posturing.

When you’re on a word diet, you use as few words as possible to say what you want to say. If needed, pretend like you’re going to be charged a dollar for every word you use that isn’t absolutely essential!

The suggestions for what to say and how to say it in this video series, all represent the word diet. The word diet will become your second nature with practice. All you need to do to master it, just like anything else, is to create an awareness around it. In time, you will have mastered the word diet.

This brings us to the Spock parent. You know Spock, from the original Star Trek series, he is unemotional and logical. When your child starts misbehaving or there is a situation which may escalate, it’s time to become a Spock parent. The Spock parent always uses a word diet, so the two go hand in hand.

Word Diet + Spock Parent = Sanity

The Spock parent calms his or her body, voice, and volume. In this mode, you become even more calm, creating a relaxation response within yourself as you begin to redirect your child.

By doing this, you’re not going to fall into the trap of escalating your child’s behavior–or your own response to your child’s behavior.

Once you are able to fully implement the Word Diet and Spock Parenting, you will get back your parental energy. This is energy that is better spent loving and goofing around with your child. Ok–back to the choice chart.

After Step 3, Isolation, and Step 4, Mark the choice chart, I will share with you how the choice chart works when your child receives a penalty when you’re not at home–whether you are at Disneyland, on an airplane, at a store, or at Grandma’s house! But first, we will talk about what you do when you are at home.

Ok, so your child has done something undesirable, or isn’t doing something you want them to do. You have mentally identified the behavior type as a start, stop or never behavior, you verbally redirected your child by telling them in one simple phrase what you wanted them to start or stop doing, they continued the behavior, or did not start the new behavior you requested, so you said, “You have a penalty.”

Or, your child displayed a never behavior, so you skipped the redirection and simply said, “You have a penalty.”

In either scenario, it is now time to isolate your child.

Remember, NO MORE TALKING. Don’t talk about why you are isolating them, don’t remind that you said you were going to give them a penalty, don’t tell them how upset or disappointed you are, don’t lecture them about how they should be more respectful. DON’T TALK.

Don’t say:

I’m isolating you because you…
I told you I was going to give you a penalty!
I’m so upset!
I’m so disappointed!
You should be more respectful!

Why is isolation the consequence?

Isolation is the consequence because the gift of personal accountability and personal growth comes from sitting with the uncomfortableness of our choices. It also mirrors the consequence used in our society.

As adults, if we behave unacceptably, we are are forced to serve community service, we are fined, or we are put in jail. In adult life, when we cannot control our emotions and resulting actions, we are isolated from all of the people who have learned to control theirs.

In addition, through isolation you:

Do not give your child a moment of attention for behaviors you do not wish to see.
Do not reward your child by giving in or by giving them power over your emotions.
Show them that love and the fun stuff happens out of isolation.
Show your child that you will expend the energy to say what you will do and to do what you say.
And, you give yourself and your child an adequate break from the current environment.

These are gifts you give your child. When this is done lovingly and consistently, your child develops a strong self-respect and a quiet confidence. With self-respect, all of life’s wonders can be enjoyed.

OK, now for a VERY IMPORTANT element of the system–Three Strikes You’re Out.

This is mirrored after the three-strikes law in California, and it works. Here’s how: The first penalty earns a 30 minute isolation. The second penalty earns a 30 minute isolation. On the third penalty, the child is “out” for the rest of the day.

Three Strikes, You’re Out

First penalty = 30 minutes
Second penalty = 30 minutes
Third penalty = “Out” for the rest of the day

If you are at home, they go in their room—for the rest of the day. Hopefully you are having regular family dinners and this is a cherished time of your day. The child who has received three penalties, does not get to participate in family dinner.

They also miss out on any other family fun that day and night. (Be sure to have plenty.)

They don’t get to eat what the family is eating and they do not get to pick what their alternative meal is. Serve them a sandwich of your choosing with milk or water. And, they can eat it at the counter.

I can count on one hand the number of times all four of my children combined have earned 3 penalties. That’s four children on whom I inflicted the Choice Chart for about ten years, for a cumulative total of about 40 years.

And that’s because, if you follow this system, it works.

Once you have successfully implemented the Choice Chart, you will rarely get past the first or second penalty. Your kids will know you mean what you say, and life will be a lot more fun for them and you. But consistency is the key. If you are not ready to be consistent–DON’T START.

In the next video, I will be talking about a few more important things to now about isolating your child, as well as what you can do if your child won’t go in and stay in their isolation place to serve their penalty, plus exactly what you do with the actual choice chart.