Parenting is just plain hard.
We’d all love to have infinite patience and have our kids to never do anything that ever puts them or others in harm’s way, but let’s be honest guys…
Kids have to test boundaries and do things that they probably shouldn’t do because they are learning. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t get that wave of intense emotion. We feel sad, scared, upset, and yes, even angry.
Then we get sucked into that lovely trap of deciding a consequence on the fly, which means it’s emotional, and oftentimes, not well thought through.
But what’s the difference between consequences and punishment really?
A consequence is the result or direct effect of an action and the goal for giving it’s to teach a lesson that leads the child to make positive choices.
Punishment is defined by Merriam-Webster as “suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution.” The goal is to inflict hurt, pain and to get even.
That just doesn’t make sense. I know I don’t do my best when I feel bad about myself.
A lot of us were punished when we were kids. That was just kind of the way our parents did things. But we don’t have to do them the same way. We know better, so we strive to DO better!
But how do we do that?
By using the more effective strategy of logical consequences. There are 4 key pieces to making effective consequences, and they are called the 4 “R”s.
Here’s what those 4 “R” s are and how to use them effectively:
The consequence should be logically related to the misbehavior.
This means you shouldn’t be sending your kid to bed early or taking away screentime if they did something like riding their bike into the street after being told not to.
It’s important to use respectful communication when talking to your kids.
So it’s 100% okay and encouraged to give yourself time to calm down if you are upset about what has just happened. Because when we’re upset we tend to not use the nicest tone, we often yell and neither of those things are respectful communication traits.
And I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time listening to someone who’s yelling or talking down to me. So it’s pretty likely that your kid will also have a hard time listening to what you’re telling them if you’re upset.
Plus, it teaches them that respectful communication isn’t valued in the home if you don’t actually practice it.
Give a reasonable consequence that will give your kids the chance to come up with a solution to correct what happened while the situation is fresh in their minds.
If you give too big of a consequence right off the bat, your kid will likely spend more time resenting you and the whole situation rather than thinking about what they could do differently next time. You know…learning to do better.
Also, if the consequence is too big, it’s more likely that that your kid will just try to cover up their behavior in the future to avoid getting an over correction again.
The consequences of breaking the house rules or misbehavior should be revealed in advance (whenever possible). This will teach your kids what is expected as well as what the consequence will be in the future.
Now that you have the 4 “R”s of consequences you are ready to start using effective consequences in your home. Have you been using logical or natural consequences in your home? If so, leave us a comment below and tell us about it!
Resources We Shared:
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The best mom is a happy mom. To better take care of you, download our No Guilt Mom mindset here . These reminders will help you second guess less, and feel more confidence every day in your parenting.