Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Guess what? I have really good news!
I have a reader!
I am so excited about this.
I really thought I was just writing to myself and stuff, but as it turns out someone actually reads my psycho babble.
I guess last week when I posted about The Ladder I mentioned SOADS and I never followed up on what they were.
My reader pointed out my error
(truthfully, I did not even remember I'd promised to explain. I'm getting old).
So here we go, SODAS is one of the little secrets I learned from Nicholeen Peck.
I use them all the time and I love them.
The kids, not so much, but I'm sure they will once they become parents.
SODAS is an acronym for Situation, Options, Disadvantages, Advantages, Solution.
So when a child is in 24 hour consequence they get to practice SODAS, a lot.
I give them a situation, for example: Your brother knocks down your block tower.
The child then has to come up with 3 options for his reaction.
For example he might say, "I could get mad and hit him or I could go tell mom or I could chose to share the blocks and build another tower with my brother."
Then we take it one step farther and he comes up with 3 Disadvantages for each option.
For example, the disadvantages of getting mad and hitting would be a time out, or the brother could hit back or his brother could get hurt.
He comes up with 3 for EACH option.
Then he comes up with three Advantages for each option.
For example, the advantages of getting mad and hitting might be the brother does not want to play anymore so I get all the blocks to myself, etc.
A lot of times they can't come up with advantages for bad behavior, or disadvantages for a good option.
Thus, they teach themselves the lesson by thinking it through and problem solving rather than me lecturing all the time.
Because we all know that when mom starts talking they tune out.
This is a brilliant way for the kids to teach themselves the things they need to learn to get along in the real world.
From Nicholeen's blog:
"The idea is that your child will become so natural at doing mental SODAS that they will problem solve all of life's problems, by the time they are adult age. By the time youth reach age 18 they should have all the basics of problem solving down, so that they can achieve their goals and lead out in their communities. "
I love this. As parents, it's our job to help our children to become reasonable and responsible adults.
I can't think of a better way to meet that end.
Cause and effect.
The last 'S' is for solution.
After talking about all the advantages and disadvantages they choose which option they think is the best and this is their solution.
Sometimes, just to be ornery, they still will say, "I'd chose to get mad and hit!"
And that is fine with me.
Again,from Nicholeen:
"Remember, whatever they choose to pick during the SODA is OK. Don't try to make them pick what you think is right. After going through the exercise, they know what is right, but sometimes they will test you to see if you really want them to choose for themselves, or if you want them to just choose what you think they should choose. Let them choose, and then if they choose a bad choice, simply say, "It is very interesting that you chose to... I am so glad that I know how you would handle this situation...This helps me better be able to decide what kinds of situations I can allow you to be in and not be in."
As long as they know that when they chose that behavior, the consequences will follow.
They, in essence, hand pick their consequences.
Doodle is to a point where she writes this out like an assignment, it's way better than writing, "I will not hit my brother." on the chalk board 100 times.

Beano and Dubs don't have terrific writing skills yet, so it's verbal with them.
I love getting in their brains and making them think and see the lights come on.
Baby will come to love them in time as well, I'm sure of it.
You really do need to read Nicholeen's post about SODAS, she's amazing.
Happy SOADS everyone, and Happy Birthday TO ME!
P.S. thanks for reading!


Joseph Weaver said...

I read your posts too, well, sometimes, I've been practicing my skimming skills.

Rfamily said...

Thank YOU sooooo much Sara! Can't wait to implement this in our home!