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No matter how wonderful our kids are, there are always going to be things that they do that we don’t want them to do.  As parents we are responsible for setting consequences for these things.

Whether we have teens or toddlers, the type of consequences have a big impact on whether or not that behavior will happen again.  I prefer to think of it as setting consequences  instead of punishing our kids because the goal should be to teach not punish.  (Which is hard to remember when your daughter is rubbing powdered jello into your tan carpet!)

setting consequences

4 Points for setting Consequences

  1. Make them natural consequences if possible – We are all familiar with natural consequences in our lives.  If we jump off roof, we are going to be really hurt.  If we eat too much cake, we are going to have a stomach ache.  No one gives us those consequences, they just happen naturally.When we are setting consequences for our kids, the more they seem natural, the more our kids will understand that their behavior caused the consequence.An example of natural consequences is “You threw a tantrum for too long, and now there is no time to go to the zoo. ”  In this example, the parent is not deciding not to go to the zoo because of the behavior, the child made going to the zoo impossible.
  2. Make sure they are easy to understand –  Simple consequences like -” If you hit your sister you have to go to your room” are easy for kids to understand.  But more complex consequences like “If you hit your sister, you have to go to your room for 5 minutes if you are sorry and you know what you did was wrong but you have to stay longer in your room if you don’t apologize,”  are much harder to understand.Some examples of simple consequences are:
    If you stay out past curfew, you can’t go out with friends for two weeks.
    If your room is dirty, you can’t play outside with your friends.
    If you don’t eat your dinner, you don’t get dessert.
  3. Make sure they are practical – If a child throws a glass and it shatters, it is reasonable to say that consequence is that the child has to clean up the glass (with adult supervision to ensure their safety).  It would not be practical to say that the consequence is that they have to glue all of the pieces back together.I is important to make sure that the consequence is something our kids are able to do so that we can enforce it which leads to the final point:
  4. Make sure it is enforceable – It is important that your kids respect you and have boundaries they can trust.  So the consequences you set have to be ones that you can follow through on.  Don’t tell them they can’t leave the house until their room is clean if there is a family commitment in 20 minutes that they have to attend for example.  And if the consequence for sneaking cookies is that they can’t have dessert at dinner, make sure that you remember to follow through.

It takes a lot of effort as parents to make sure that the consequences we set are going to be teaching opportunities for our kids but it is worth it in the long run.  Having a very strictly enforced curfew for example has eliminated a lot of problems because my social kids don’t want to lose time with their friends.


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Posted by Frugal Mommy

Hi I’m Heather, a busy, happy and very frugal mom of 8 amazing kids! My journey to become a mom of 8 has been a bumpy one that has included infertility, being a foster parent, adoption, and special needs parenting. I share the things I've learned raising my big unique family.

11 Comments

  1. This is helpful and practical. Children do not know the consequence of what they did, and this post will lead them to realize that.

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  2. This is SO helpful as my toddler is trying to test boundaries constantly lately! Thanks so much for these tips. Seriously so helpful!
    Chrissa – Physical Kitchness recently posted…30 Second Paleo Microwave CrepesMy Profile

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  3. It is so important to make the consequence be a logical result of the behavior. Thank you for giving us some practical ideas to make sure this happens!
    Heidi ~ morethan3wishes.com recently posted…10 Acts of Kindness Behind the WheelMy Profile

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  4. Sharing this with a group of young moms who was just discussing this
    Candy recently posted…DIY American FlagMy Profile

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  5. These are really great things to keep in mind! Punishment loses its effectiveness when the kids can’t figure out why they’re being punished.
    Samantha recently posted…16 Outrageously Fun Things to Do with Your Long-Distance FriendshipMy Profile

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  6. These are very practical and easy to remember. It is extremely important to be consistent too. I like the natural consequence point you had. Sometimes, that is all the lesson they need, if you know what I’m saying….

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    1. Yes I love those natural consequences. 🙂

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  7. These are such clear and effective points! I think they all make for good training principles and consequences. All of these points are so helpful for making punishments that stick, and aren’t out of anger, but of wanting to discipline and shape character. Definitely saving for the future!

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    1. Thanks. I have found them very helpful for me.

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  8. Yes, perfect tips. I sometimes get carried away with the consequences. lol

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    1. Lol it is so easy to do!

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