Part of learning self-government is learning to problem solve. At first when a person begins to learn self-government they don’t always see another way to respond besides the emotional habit they have already created. Recognizing cause and effect actually takes practice and deliberate choosing.
Each of us has to want to see cause and effect in order to care about applying the principle to our lives. That is probably the hardest part of changing. If we acknowledge the principle of cause and effect then we are instantly duty bound to make better, more calculated, choices. Just acknowledging cause and effect naturally leads to self-government. This is one of the key purposes of using the SODAS exercises with children.
SODAS also offer a safe, easy way to mentally go through situations to practice recognizing cause and effect in daily life. The more times a person can practice choosing something the right way, or at least reasoning out the options and consequences of choosing each option, the more apt they are to choose the correct choice in the future. Doing SODAS is a proactive way to approach daily interactions and situations. They are pre-teaching exercises which instill confidence by adding experience to the decision making process.
There are multiple ways to use SODAS, but the three most common are 1) when a youth has earned the SODAS consequence during the rule of three 2) when a parent is pre-teaching about an upcoming situation and 3) right after a correction has happened.
SODAS can be written or verbal, but written is best. When they are written, there is more of an opportunity to really see the choices clearly.
If you are part of the Implementation Course, you will want to download the SODAS form and listen to the class in step three. You can find the class and download here.http://parentingselfgovernment.com/step-5-three-keys-stopping-bad-behaviors-they-start
You may also want to get aSODAS journalto keep all your SODAS worksheets organized and handy.
Here is a video of me and Paije talking to Karen Trifiletti about SODAS.