"The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children." Home Education, Volume 1, page 136.I think redos are the perfect way to help our children get into the habit of good behavior and good work effort. What is a redo? A redo is when a child does something incorrectly and you ask them to redo it the right way. For example, if a child talks back to me I ask him to redo it and talk correctly to me. If a child doesn't wipe off the table to his/her ability we will say, "please redo the table." If a child gets angry and hits his brother I say, "That's not appropriate. Please redo the situation and deal with it appropriately. Would you like some suggestions on how you can redo it appropriately?"
Redos can be done for any poor behavior, any sloppy house work, any sloppy math assignment, etc. I especially hammer in on the whining. If they whine when I ask them to do some something I tell them I want them to redo that. So I'll say again, "Leader I need you to change the laundry." Then instead of whining Leader says, "Yes, Mom." (Actually Leader loves doing the laundry).
We do redos in our house ALL day long. In the six plus months we have implemented them the behavior in our house has DRASTICALLY improved. Where has the redo been my whole parenting life?
There have also been times as parents where we have also said, "I am going to redo that. I didn't say that right." We have had whole conversations where the parent and the child have redone it. I think our kids respect us more when we admit and work on our faults too.
Q: What if your child won't do a redo?
A: In the beginning we had one particular child that refused or would go mute. We gave them one opportunity to redo the situation. If they wouldn't redo it we sent them to their room (or the corner). They had to stay there until they would redo it. (This would also imply that there were no toys in their room. So if there are toys perhaps telling them they can only lie on their bed or you can send them to the corner). I haven't had a problem with a redo since the very beginning. They didn't like getting sent to their room and they quickly decided that it was easier to just redo it right away and get it over with.
Q: My child doesn't understand how to redo it?
A: Sometimes we either have a short discussion and offer suggestions on how to redo it and then we role play the situation again. Or I may role play the situation for them to begin with and then they model me and redo it themselves.
Q: Do you do redos in front of other people?
A: Sometimes. It depends on who they are. If they are close family members or friends we do. Usually I'll take them to the side and quickly discuss what went wrong in the situation. Our children respond very well to redos and are more than willing to correct their behavior now.
Q: Aren't there times when you just let a poor behavior go because it's inconvenient and you don't want to ride them all day.
A: No. My job is to teach them all the time, not just when I'm well rested and in a good mood. The redo is never done angrily or disrespectfully so the child doesn't feel like they are being "ridden." Also in real life there is no time during the day when poor behavior should be allowed. Just because we or our children are tired or hungry doesn't mean we have a license to be ill behaved.
I love redos and they have changed my parenting life for the good. I wish I had known about them years ago. I hope they can be a blessing that you can adapt to your life.