When it comes to disciplining children, everyone is an expert and a critic. Many times the child’s grandparent (Love you, Mom!) is chalk full of advice for discipline. Some people are dead-set against spanking, some swear by it. Some people are firmly attached to “time-out” and some parents say it just doesn’t work. The truth is, all children are different and should be treated individually. This can be accomplished through enforcing logical consequences.
Logical consequences connect a negative behavior with a not-so-fun activity, so that even a small child will understand the cause-effect relationship. It is a much more effective form of discipline or punishment than a lecture or yelling, which just wears the parent out.
Some good examples of logical consequences are:
- If Julie consistently leaves her toys out, mom can pack them away in a box. Julie would not be able to play with those toys for a predetermined amount of time appropriate for her age. (one day for small children up to one week for teens-this could include electronic devices) Another version of this I saw on Pinterest suggested writing chores or tasks on slips of paper. The child could choose to draw one of the slips, complete the task and get the toys back sooner.
- Joey leaves all of his stinky, dirty clothes on the bathroom/bedroom floor. A logical consequence would be that Joey would have to wash his own laundry. (This consequence would not be appropriate for a pre-school child, but kids are old enough to do laundry by the time they are in upper-elementary school.
- Lily keeps forgetting her chores or homework because she is too distracted by a television show. A logical consequence for Lily is to not be allowed to watch TV for three days.
No matter what the misbehavior or the consequence, be sure to tell your child about the consequence ahead of time with either-or statements.
“Katie, you can either put your dishes in the sink, or you may not take food outside the kitchen again. You decide.”
This gives children a sense of responsibility, as well as letting them know the consequences of their actions before they misbehave.
For more information on logical consequences and effective, positive parenting, check out my class called Active Parenting Now. It’s a 6-part series offered on Thursdays in May at the Lincoln County Courthouse in Chandler. Cost for this class is $25 per parenting team, to cover the workbook. Please RSVP to 405-258-0560.
Don’t live near Chandler? Give me a call anyway. I’d be happy to help you find the Family and Consumer Sciences Educator near you!