Some Advice on Teaching Children Consequences

In modern times, we are very often besieged with conflicting advice on teaching children consequences and limits that may leave us confused as to the best way to proceed. Most often, this advice relates to the procedure of disciplining your child. There are many parents who spoil their children by giving in to every whim and fancy. These parents believe that reprimanding children or punishing them will result in a mentally and emotionally inhibited child. What these parents do not realize is that children need to have limits set for them and discipline should be an integral part of the child’s upbringing.

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If a child is never made to understand his mistakes and/or reproved for negative actions, he will grow up into a conceited human being who is inconsiderate and insensitive to others. Such an adult will never be able to exert self-control which is so crucial to lead a stable life. So, it is essential that any advice on parenting takes into account methods whereby your child is brought up in a way where he can take responsibility for his actions. Wanting to avoid punishing your child is reasonable, but there are other better ways of correcting reprehensible actions that will leave you feeling good and foster maturity in your child. Are you wondering what this is?

Teaching children consequences includes making use of ‘consequences’ in a tactful way when dealing with your child. This is one methodology that makes it possible to have a reasonable discussion with your child without alienating him or her. The great thing about this particular advice on parenting is that you do not have to restrict yourself to negative consequences but can make use of positive consequences liberally for mutual satisfaction. The great advantage with incorporating positive consequences into your daily routine is that your child truly learns what good, acceptable behavior and personality traits are all about. At the same time with the use of negative consequences, your child is motivated to shun bad qualities without a lot of preaching on your part.

Do remember that even when you are teaching children consequences and making use of the consequence formula, you keep your child in the loop rather than spring it on as a surprise. This will produce better results and your child will be aware of what is happening and why. What you should ideally do is to sit aside with your child and explain the reason for your resorting to this measure. Make it very clear that every adult faces the result of his actions, whether good or bad, and this law applies to them as well. Tell them that even if they may not always agree with some of the consequences imposed on them, it is necessary for their well-being as well as understanding of the world around them. If possible, ask them to reflect on the actions and the resultant consequence. This is one piece of advice on teaching children consequences that you will have to be very vocal about as it will open a clear path for communication later and avoid the chances of misunderstandings or resentment.

Even after this kind of a mature discussion, try and use consequence discipline rarely and with discretion. If you make excessive use of it, its value will be undermined and it will no longer hold any significance for your child. So, the first thing to do when your child misbehaves is to sit and talk to him and explain why such behavior should not be repeated. Despite this, if he persists in doing it then you have no option but to let him/her suffer the consequences.

As mentioned earlier, since there is equal focus on positive consequences, your child will definitely let go of his negative actions with the passage of time and you will be a satisfied parent for heeding this advice on teaching children consequences.

Let us take a look at the ‘types of consequences’ you can use safely on your child. The first one on the list is ‘natural consequences’. In this category, you have to play a passive role and let nature take its own course. For example, if your child refuses to go to bed at his regular time and plays late into the night, he will feel tired and sleepy for early morning school. After some days of indulging in this behavior, your child will promptly drop it since it leads to a sense of discomfort the next day.

There are times, though, when you cannot take a backseat and watch the proceedings calmly. If your child is over-indulging in his favorite sweet and refuses to stop with the excessive intake, you will be forced to interfere for fear of your child falling ill. In other words, you need to make a sane decision on when to use ‘natural consequences’ when you are disciplining your child.

The second consequence that is very effective when teaching children consequences is ‘logical consequences’. Here, the consequence will be directly proportional to the misbehavior of the child. To give an example, if the child throws his personal items like clothes, books or toys out of his cupboard onto the floor in an angry outburst, you first wait for his temper to subside and then make him put everything back into place. The next time he loses his temper, he will think twice before venting out his anger in a similar manner since he knows that he will have to sort out the mess that he has created. This is a great way of awakening the dormant self-control in your child and making him accountable for his actions.

The third type of negative consequence is the ‘loss of privileges’. What it means is that if your child persists in a particular type of misbehavior that you consider pretty serious, you deprive him of something that he particularly likes for a short time. Not letting him play with his favorite toy or watching his cartoon program belongs to this category of negative consequences. Never let the loss of privileges drag on for a very long time as it may lead to bitterness and a sense of humiliation. Short durations are enough to drive home your message.

When you are enforcing and teaching children consequences, always remember to be consistent since this is vital for its effectiveness. Again, never let anger be the ruling force behind your action as a parent. Projecting a calm and impartial demeanor will yield better results with your child than radiating a lack of control as a parent. More importantly, as mentioned earlier in this article negative consequences have to be tempered with positive consequences so that your child appreciates your treatment of him/her. Focusing more on positive consequences will improve your relationship with your child and will diminish the negative qualities that you so abhor. Keep this advice on teaching children consequences very close to your heart and reap the benefits on a continual basis.

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