I am often asked.. “what is an appropriate way to handle my child’s (undesired) behaviour?”
There are going to be many times in your child’s life that their behaviour is less than desired. As discussed previously, there are 2 basic ways to handle the behaviours. You can are in a proactive or reactive manner. There is time and a place for both of these ways of handling a behaviour.
Consequences given to your child for a behaviour is an example of a reactive manner. The most productive consequences are the ones that are Natural and Logical.
What is a Natural Consequence?
A natural consequence is something that happens naturally when your child chooses to do something. The consequence is not given by an adult but results form an action a child does.
The following are examples of behaviours that happen and the natural consequence that occur.
Will not put on coat
Your child will feel the effects of the cold air or wet weather.
Refuse to eat
If you offer your child a snack and he refuses it he will be hungry.
No Homework Done
Your child will have to deal with the consequences at school.
Your child will be tired the next day and will need a nap.
The key with natural consequences is that you allow your child to feel the natural consequence as long as it is not a safety issue. There have been many times that our son has decided he did not want to wear a coat when it was cold outside. Refusing to wear a coat could be a safety issue so I would ask him to carry a coat or I would grab one on the way out the door. After a few minutes of being cold, the jacket was excepted without issue.
It can be hard to refrain from saying “I told you it would be cold”. These types of statements are not super productive.
What is a Logical Consequence?
A logical consequence is something that an adult imposes on a child due to a behaviour. The consequence given is best if related to the behaviour that is occurred.
The following are examples of logical consequences that occur after a behaviour.
"Hit you sit"
Your child is asked to sit down after hitting someone. This gives the person hit a chance to regroup.
If your child is not playing with a toy appropriately, the toy is removed for a set period of time.
If your child’s behaviour is off after electronics then the use of electronics is removed.
The key to a logical consequence is that it has to relate to the behaviour. If the consequence does not relate to the bahaviour then it is not longer a consequence and it is a punishment. Effective logical consequences are given right after the behaviour occurs and are followed through with.
Please feel free to send me a message if you are wondering what a natural or logical response can be for a particular behaviour.
I look forward to helping you be the parent you want to be!