Received any good customer service lately? It certainly is hard to come by these days. But it does exist – and when you experience it, you can immediately tell the difference from the professionals and those who just don’t have the talent. Don’t be lulled into thinking that good customer service just happens. Companies that have exceptional customer service train their employees to be superior customer service agents. As the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of your household, you can move up from being a mediocre disciplinarian of your children to an outstanding disciplinarian by implementing the following techniques that CEOs of major corporations utilise. Here they are:
1. Set goals.
Don’t just assume your child knows how to behave, let him know what you expect of him or her. “I want you to be in bed by 9:00.” “I want your homework completed before you get on the computer.” “I want you to find other ways than hitting to let your younger brother know that you’re angry with him.” When setting goals for your child, limit goals to no more than two or three. Too many goals can be overwhelming and reduce how successful your child will be in accomplishing his goals.
2. Reward accomplishments.
When your child performs a desired goal or even attempts to accomplish a desired goal, reward him. Give him a smile, a pat on the back, or a verbal compliment. “I see you finished your homework before getting on the computer. You are being very responsible.” Or, try one of the most effective reward systems around – the star chart system. Write your child’s name on a sheet of paper, and whenever he accomplishes an established goal, give him a star on his chart. When he receives ten stars, give him a treat, buy a new toy, or take him somewhere special. Letting him join in on deciding what the reward will be can be even more effective in helping him strive for his goals.
3. Provide Feedback.
Make certain your child knows when he/she has accomplished the goals set. This can be done by selecting from the suggestions mentioned above in step 2. Your child will also need to be reminded when he/she is not achieving the goals and where improvement is needed. Feedback needn’t be harsh; it merely needs to be consistent. If penalties are needed, get in the habit of using methods that avoid corporal punishment. As an alternative, remove desired privileges for a period of time, such as computer use, phone use, electronic game use, special outings, or other desired activities. Also, try time-outs; the time should be commensurate with the child’s age. With all forms of penalties, avoid expressing anger or shouting. Always try to remain calm when implementing penalties. This helps prevent unnecessary or unrestrained lashing out with your tongue or hands.
4. Continue your programme.
It’s easy to get bored with alternative discipline methods that avoid hitting and shouting. You might get tired of returning to the star chart to put up stars. You may become restless in coming up with ideas for rewards or penalties. Don’t give up. Research parenting sites online for lists of rewards and penalties for your specific child’s age. Stay motivated with the star chart system by remembering that when you cease taking the time to put up stars, you often end up having to spend your time resolving discipline offences instead. Rewards encourage good behaviour – without a doubt. So keep it up!
Now the next time you make a phone call and receive a real live person at the other end who responds with impeccable courtesy and manners, you know why – because you do the same in your own corporate office.
Grandma Jeddah is the author of, Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child – And Keep Your Peace of Mind While at It. To order her e-book or subscribe to her free newsletter, visit her website at: www.grandmajeddah.com.