Natural and Logical Consequences
When families and communities send consistent messages to our children concerning the repercussions of dangerous and unkind behavior, it will be easier for them to avoid participation in these behaviors. It is our responsibility as adults to help them live by the basic rule that actions have consequences.
Natural consequences happen when a child is irresponsible; soccer uniforms can’t be washed if they are left at school, it will be a chilly recess if the jacket or coat was left at home, they go hungry if they refuse to eat.
When there is no natural consequence of actions, or in issues of safety, then parents and other caring adults may have to substitute a logical consequence. It is better if there is a connection between the inappropriate choice and the loss of a privilege or toy.
Logical consequences permit a child to learn a lesson or correct a mistake. It is important for the child to understand that the consequence “fits” the behavior in a logical way. Choice is essential in logical consequences. Alternatives are supplied by the parent in a respectful, firm but kind voice and the child makes a choice. For instance;
“Justus, the grown-ups are enjoying a good visit here and your noise is disturbing us. You may either choose a quieter toy and stay in the room, or you may leave the room and go play somewhere else. You decide.”
Empower With Choices
Those children who develop a habit of thinking about the connection between actions and consequences will be in a position of strength. Their choices will be immeasurably easier to make because they have been given a framework for decision making.
If you have previously a “helicopter parent” who hovered around your child ready to step in and save their fanny, then stop it! This is not in your child’s best interest.
I know, because I was a late life child and my parents spoiled me and stepped in when I was having difficulty. It took me much longer to be independent and a problem-solver. They thought they were doing a service and protecting me, but it actually slowed down my progress. Imagine my surprise when no one picked up after me at work. I was shocked as a young wife to realize I knew what great dinners and clean houses looked like, but I did not know the process.
New Rules Starting Today
Tell your child there will be a new rule at your house, starting today and stick to it. You will not be stepping in when they are irresponsible. It may be hard for you to see them experience the consequences, but you will be giving them a lifelong gift of how the real world operates.
- Are you consistent in expectations of your family?
- When your child makes a mistake do you allow him/her to suffer the consequences of the choice?
- In your discipline, does the logical consequence link to the wrong choice. For instance, the consequence for not picking up toys is to lose the use of the toy for the day.
Be sure to claim your free eBook on helping kids learn responsibility at http://www.kidschoresandmore.com You will be glad you did. If your organization would like to hire Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke for an upcoming conference please call 406-549-9813 or see http://www.judyhwright.com