Consequences. That is a word that children do not want to hear. When my kids misbehave and we talk about their choices and then comes that mean old word consequences… followed by punishment. You would think the whole world is going to come crashing down on their tiny shoulders. On top of that, I am sure many of you can relate with the incessant blaming of others, even the dog, when things go wrong.
The struggle to implement consequences is real, especially when you have a strong willed child. Sometimes we are tired. Sometimes we feel guilty. Sometimes we just want them to be quiet so we give in. In the end the outcome is a disaster.
Your child has to understand what consequences are in the first place. Consequences are not punishment. Consequences follow a behavior, action, or inaction. Consequences, believe it or not, give a lot of room for a child to be provided a learning objective. Here lies the objective of providing them with task oriented consequences rather than time oriented consequences.
The point of consequences is to learn something from their behavior. If you are giving your child time oriented consequences then they are learning nothing and you are stuck with endless complaining and grief throughout the course of time you have implemented.
This does not have to be difficult and the benefits are abundant. Here are some easy ways you can teach your child consequences.
Teach Your Child Consequences
1. Establish cause and effect. Your kiddo has to know where to connect the dots. So help them make a connection. Example: You lost your favorite superhero because it was not put back where it goes.
2. Encourage honesty. The whole blame game is easy for kids. It is also easy for them to avoid the truth in some cases. If your child does something you disapprove of them don;t fly off the handle. They will be more reluctant to avoid the truth if you are a maniac. Keep calm and approachable. Your child will be more comfortable talking about the action.
3. Impose what fits the crime. Make the consequence age appropriate and action appropriate.
4. Stick to your guns. If you are constantly bending the rules out of guilt or avoiding consequences because those alligator tears, begging, and pleading are so convincing you are defeating yourself. We are all guilty of this as I mentioned before. Making it a habit is disastrous.
5. Provide rewards for your child. Sometimes even the most difficult and defiant children will show huge progress when they are rewarded. Simply let them know you acknowledge their good choices and how proud you are of them can go a long way!
6. Once the consequence is over with don’t rehash it! Move on! If you are constantly rehashing you are destroying your child’s self worth.
Consequences implement structure and provide boundaries and limits for your child. Having this type of set up lets your child know throughout their lives they will encounter consequences and rewards for their actions. Consequences prove accountability and also allow them to learn problem solving skills.
What are your best efforts for delivering consequences to your child? Share your thoughts.
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