One of the foundational principles that many parenting resources seem to agree on is that the the consequences of an action should tie to the action itself (logical consequences). I would go so far as to say this really is a foundational principles of parenting in general and not just discipline. As such I think the following phrase is the foundational parenting phrase for affecting behavior:
- Because you did X, now you will/can do Y.
This phrase captures the cause-effect relationship (because…now), keeps the focus on the child (you did…, you will…), and is in line with making the discipline harder on the child than the parent (you…). As such I suspect this is one of the go to phrases of all great parents.
- Because you left your shoes in the door, now you must stop what you are doing and put them away.
- Because you were late for dinner, now you must serve yourself and clean the table for all of us.
- Because you got out of bed [at bedtime], now you must go back to bed without your stuffy.
- Because you scored so well on report card, now you can watch a movie.
Try it a few times in a nice calm manner and let us know what you think.
– the very practical parent