First you must create the perfect rule!
The Perfect Rule has Five Parts/Steps. It must have ALL of the five listed below to be effective. If not…no magic will happen.
It must be absolutely
- simple and clear
- related to time
First you must clearly define and know the specific behavior you want to modify.
Here is the hardest part. At first, knowing what you expect from your child has to be very, very specific. This is the big challenge for most parents. For example, expecting your child to “behave,” “listen,” or “cooperate” are about as non-specific as you can get. On the other hand, expecting your child to put his clothes in the hamper before dinner is quite specific.
Some parents will say, “Well, he knows what I mean by “listen” or “clean your room.” Put that notion aside. It’s not going to help. You’re going to have to learn how to be more specific if you want to be successful.
Step/part 1 – Simple and Clear
1.Is the rule, “Clean your room,” clear and simple?
If you answer, “Yes,” as most parents do, you are wrong. What may be your idea of cleaning the room may be quite different than your child’s, even if you think, “He knows what a clean room is!!” The criterion is vague. What if he’s left all his dirty clothes around, but he’s tucked in his sheets, put his things away (games, electronics), and cleared his desk. Has he cleaned his room?
2. .Is this rule clear and simple: “Tuck in your bed sheets and covers and put your dirty clothes in the hamper.
Yes, very clear, very simple.
3. Is the rule, “Brush your teeth after you eat,” clear and simple? If you answer, “Yes,” you are absolutely right. (Yeah, you!)
Step/Part 2 – Doable
Your child must have the capacity to carry out the rule.
- Is the rule “Brush your teeth” doable? We know it’s clear. And, of course, it is doable.
- Is the rule, “Organize the hall closet.” For your child, is this doable? Probably not.” The problem word is “Organize.” Vague and out of the range of most kids without lots of supervision.”
- To an eight year old: “Change the oil in the car.” Clear, but not doable.
Some rules will vary, depending on the capacity of the child. For a five year old, just having untucked covers on the bed and the pillow at the head of the bed may be sufficient as a starting point of the task of making the b.
You decide if it is clear and doable.
- Wash the dishes after dinner on Mondays and Wednesdays.
- Take out the trash.
- For an 11 year old: Before bed, put your schoolwork and gym clothes in your backpack and put the backpack by the front door.
- Please finish your homework.
- Walk your dog before meals.
1, 3, 5 are clear and doable
2. is clear and doable, but lacks specificity. When is the job to be carried out? The time element is missing, so the task can continue for a day – or longer. 4. Is vague all the way around.
Thursday. Next 2 steps of making the rule to create the Magic Question Method. (MQM)
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