Ever wondered what the magic trick is to manage 20 kindergarten children? Surely there is something?
How else do teachers contain, occupy, entertain, let a lone teach that many children for 6hrs a day?
Well, from one mum to another, who also happens to be a teacher… rest assured we are not holding out on you. There is no one secret bullet.
Having said that, there are some tricks of the trade that have definitely come in handy once I became a parent.
One I find particularly valuable… the TRIPLE RC SQUARED. It is what teachers follow within classrooms to manage behaviours. Or more specifically ensure there are firm and consistent boundaries and expectations.
Teachers don’t actually call it this… I just like to because it entertains me. A bit sad, I know, but you got to get your kicks where you can when in the haze of parenting small children.
So TRIPLE RC SQUARED, what is it? And why should you care?
TRIPLE RC SQUARED simply put, is my way of implementing boundaries at home. In the classroom it’s used for behaviour management. Now before I explain any more I need to clarify that this is not the only way I promote positive behaviour within the home.
We use positive reinforcement, verbal praise, we have conversations about scenarios, link situations to other real life examples and more.
TRIPLE RC SQUARED is my go to for undesirable behaviour that isn’t ok to ignore (or simple give a look for, or a stern name with inflection- you know the one where you say your kids name, frown and add the question inflection of ‘what-do-you-think-you’re-doing?’)
TRIPLE RC SQUARED is for when your preschooler repeatedly gives a permanent marker to a younger sibling with the lid off, or when you need to get out the door and they decide this is the time to play dress ups.
TRIPLE RC SQUARED= 4x steps to manage undesirable behaviour
3. Remind and a Conditional
Step 1 Redirect:
This simply means guide your child towards a more desirable behaviour or action, rather than jumping straight to ‘no don’t do that’.
DISTRACTION, DISTRACTION, DISTRACTION.
In this example a redirect could be.
‘Let’s bring that hat with us and we can pretend to be policeman in the car on the way’.
Or ‘You told me you thought you’d ask Santa for something the other day, what was it? Maybe you could ask for something different for the dress ups?’
Once the child answers keep asking them questions and guide them to the door as you ask and they answer. Hopefully the redirect worked and they go to the car chatting about Santa and forgetting about dress ups for the time being. If not, step 2. It is.
Step 2 Reiterate:
This step is exactly what it sounds like. Reiterate what you have asked of them or why you do not want them doing something, try and make it relatable to them.
REMIND, REMIND, REMIND
For example: ‘Name, I have asked you to come and get in the car. It isn’t time for dress ups because we will be late if we do not leave now.’
Step 3 Remind and Conditional:
Repeat the request to remind your child what you want them to do/not do and then add a conditional consequence.
WARN, WARN, WARN
For example: ‘I have asked you to come and get in the car. I am going to count to 5 and if you are not in the car, then… (give them a conditional consequence. What this is will differ from child to child)
BUT WHATEVER YOU SAY…
ONLY SAY IT,
IF IT IS SOMETHING YOU ARE
WILLING AND ABLE
TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH!
Step 4: Consequence
If it all goes to custard and you aren’t getting anywhere, after a redirect, a reiterate, a reminder and a condition… then whatever the consequence was to be, needs to happen.
For young children consequences need to be immediate, not delayed. A toddler will not make the connection between the action and the consequence if the consequence doesn’t happen until hours later.
I always aim to not get to this point but kids will be kids and that means testing boundaries. So I inevitably do get to the consequence, at times, but then we change the topic and move on.
And this is my parting positive-note… once a consequence has occurred, move on. Don’t hold on to any angst (so much easier said than done, I know) and don’t dwell on it.
Children need firm boundaries and consequences but they equally need to know that their actions do not influence your love for them…
A bit like how as teachers we are taught that you never call a child naughty/good/bad… their behaviour may be appropriate or not appropriate but they, themselves, are not intrinsically naughty/good/bad.
This is another gem from the classroom, which may seem like semantics but there is a big difference in this wording from a child’s point of view.
But that one is for another day.
Your Hands-On TRIPLE RC SQUARED lover,