Being a parent is a great privilege. My husband and I have come to understand that the call to parenthood is a wonderful and challenging opportunity. Who our children become, rests primarily on how we respond to the grace God gives us, to raise saints! We have found that we cannot expect our children to behave according to our rules, if they don't totally understand them, especially if they don't believe there are consequences for not following these rules. As a result, we have created "House Rules" for our home. We have our "House Rules" posted on the fridge. Each time we make modifications to the rules, we review them with the children, to be sure they understand the rules, and the discipline resulting in a failure to comply. We have taken advice from Dr. Ray, and employed "Black Outs". A black out in our home, is removal of all privileges for the day (television, seconds on meals, dessert, bicycle, skate board, etc.). Saying "No" to Mom or Dad, hitting, or not giving right-away obedience are some scenarios in our home worthy of this discipline. Other forms of discipline we employ are deductions in computer time, time in room, sitting on couch (arm in arm) with sibling with whom they were fighting, etc.. If the children's behavior is uncharitable to one another, we ask them to do a "Hail Mary Hug". They simply hug each other while they pray the Hail Mary out loud, then ask for and give each other forgiveness and say "I love you."
When the children speak uncharitably to one another, tease, or tattle unnecessarily, they are required to write the Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill". I found a computer application for copy work for the children that is a GREAT tool for this form of discipline as well. Startwrite enables me to type whichever commandment has been broken (Honor they Father and thy Mother and Thou Shall not Kill are biggies here) and the child then writes (my preschool ager traces) it. When they break a commandment, my children are reminded that they are not only breaking our house rules, but God's as well; it is a sin. They are reminded that sin hurts us all (the perpetrator, the victim, our whole family, and worst of all God). They ask forgiveness from their sibling as well as God.I have attached our house rules if you are looking for a starting point.
I recently read a great article in the Sunday Visitor that I hope to share wisdom from soon. Here is the link to this GREAT wisdom for parents like us... Parentleadership.com