We've had similar concerns with Beyond Consequences. Just like with medicine, not every technique or treatment works the same way, if at all, with every child. That said, I do like Beyond Consequences because it helps me remember why my child is acting the way he or she is, and have more empathy and patience with them. It does make me feel like all of the burden is on the parent, but I interpret it to mean that we should not give consequences In The Heat Of The Moment because the kids are shut down and unable to process it. For example, if the child begins yelling and screaming at you over not wanting to do a chore, this is not the time to be punishing them. Instead help them regulate and calm and then later, when the child is emotionally stable reintroduce the concept or discuss consequences.
Chores are a huge trigger for Kitty. If I pushed consequences in the heat of the battle, she would rather die than comply, so would end up being grounded for life, have 5 pg writing assignments, have nothing in her room (because it was all taken away)… and I would most likely have a damaged relationship, bite marks, smashed cabinets, suicidal and homicidal threats, yet another visit from the police with hours wasted in the lobby of the local psych hospital getting her signed in, and 2 weeks of visiting her at said hospital (in case you haven’t guessed yes, this actually happened over being asked to put a load of dishes in the dishwasher). Obviously she didn’t much care about being grounded or any other consequences then. I’m not saying this still might not have happened, but under the same circumstances when I focused on empathy and trying to help her emotionally regulate and blew off actually getting the chore done the severity of the meltdown was much less severe.
Now I look at things that trigger her and try to find ways to keep them from happening or being so severe. Maybe break it down into smaller pieces if possible, or put it at times when she is a little more fresh and emotionally regulated.
Cleaning the kitchen was a big trigger that ALWAYS caused big issues. Rather than fuss at her and force her to comply, or drop the issue entirely, we broke the chore down into smaller pieces. Now she does the floors on Tuesday, wipes down the stovetop and wipes the front of the refrigerator on Wednesday, and on Saturdays she wipes down the front of the cabinets. Rather than assigning a day to do dishes, we finally decided to assign a time. That way if she misses it because she can’t handle it then we only miss one load and we don’t get as much backlog (this is huge for a family of our size). We also assigned her chores that don’t matter so much if they don’t get done. Sometimes one of us helps her get her chores done when she looks like she’s overwhelmed. As she gets better she can handle more.
So here's the irony. Tonight I had a huge fight with her because she didn’t want to do the dishes! *sigh*
I lost my temper and yelled at her. I rarely yell (like maybe 3 times in the last 3 years), but I'm tired of being told,
- Kitty: "I'll unload and that's all I'm going to do... I'll come back later and do it.
- Kitty: "You love your kids more than me."
- "No one else does their chores."
- Kitty: "You never make Bob do her chores... I have homework too"
- Kitty: "I hate this family. I never had to do chores in foster care."
- "You're going to stand there and criticize how I do the dishes. You don't criticize anyone else or tell anyone else what to do even though Ponito obviously did it wrong."
- Kitty: "I'd rather do kitty litter every day. I just hate dishes. I don't want to do them.
- Kitty: "I'm just never going to eat again, then I don't have to do dishes."
Dinner was late, which didn't go over with Kitty who was "starving" (instantly forgot she wasn't going to eat. After I yelled at her she stormed out of the room. I told her I was going to be standing within 4 feet of her at all times if she didn't go to her room. She eventually went to her room. Normally I'd follow her and help her emotionally regulate, but tonight I needed to finish making dinner and didn't really want to deal with her. She cried in her room and came out still angry. We talked briefly and she calmed down a little.