Consequences

C is for Consequences.

This is a word I learned while reading Parenting with Love and Logic.

“You guys can stop working on this pile of toys and go do your chores.  When dad gets home we will go for a hike but you can only come if you get your chores done.”

An hour and a half later Mr. Sexy arrived home.  Denai and I were ready to go but the other two kids had done a lot of playing and wandering around.  I really didn’t feel like going for a walk but it was important that there was follow through even if we were only gone for 5 or 10 minutes.

“Well, if you guys get your chores done in a hurry you can come catch up with us,” I told the kids.  Marie gave a sad face but Michael threw a fit.  He is 6 and still throws tantrums.

So we left the kids running around and this time they were productive.  Mr. Sexy and I had a nice, relaxing walk with just Denai wrapped tightly to my torso.  We got back around 10 minutes later and the chores were almost done.  Michael was incredibly disappointed.  Lesson learned.

It’s my personal opinion that some parents today make the mistake of taking on their kid’s irresponsible choices.  For instance: What happens when Michael is 13 and he leaves his backpack at home?  Do I change my schedule and rush it straight to him?  No way.  If there is a good time to bring it at some point during the day, then yes I’ll bring it; I’m no monster.  But frankly, getting him his backpack won’t be my responsibility nor will it be my responsibility to fix his mistake.

It’s hard for me to allow Michael to fail because he takes it so personally.  However it’s my belief that with age comes growing responsibility from him.  So right now we are starting with small things like chores and following simple directions.

I love the idea of natural consequences.  Natural consequences allow for the discipline to be taken out of my hands and I can feel empathy for my kids.  It’s time to go!  Oh, you have been playing instead of putting on your shoes?  Well, I guess you need to carry them to the car because we are out of time. I know it sucks.  When I goof off instead of getting ready to go I get mad at myself too.  Lesson learned.  Although sometimes these lessons get learned more than once.

This is the A-Z blogging challenge so go ahead and read the introduction and see a list of all my A-Z posts.

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17 thoughts on “Consequences

  1. I love the book Parenting with Love and Logic! I'm all about natural consequences for my small people. If I tell you that it's chilly outside and you fail to wear a coat, then you will be cold. I think that the small people learn so much more when they learn from their own actions and consequences than when we swoop in to rescue them from the consequences.

    TaMara
    AJ's AtoZ wHooligan
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

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  2. I think this is so smart. I teach college now but I taught high school for years and it amazed me the number of parents who didn't want their kids to have consequences. Those tended to be the kids who struggled the most the first few semesters of college–sounds like you're raising your kiddos to be successful!

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  3. We are going through something with my 18 year old daughter. We've given her every opportunity to make logical decisions for her future and it completely laid out the consequences of each decision and behavior – now we have to sit back and watch her sink or swim. It's a hard truth to learn as a parent, but we have to do it so that they can grow into the person that were meant to 🙂

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  4. I totally agree with your post! I think they should have to take the consequence of their actions and we as parents shouldn't be there to bail them out all the time.

    betty

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  5. totally agree…and really, it's just common sense too right? How else will they learn if we keep doing it for them.
    I found applying this principle, and once they have seen it action a few times, works with so many other things. Oh, you didn't eat your vegetables? Then sorry, but no – you cannot have dessert. It's time to go and you are not dressed and ready? Oh, I'll wait here until you get dressed. Yes, you will miss about 15 minutes of your swim lesson. Yes, that means less pool time. Next time get dressed when I ask. This has stopped so much anxiety and pressure for me. Stopped the running around breathless and rushed. It's all about showing the rules ….and being consistent with them.

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