Kids are picky eaters. They eat what suits their eyes and taste buds. From snacks to sweets, everything they eat might not be a healthy option for them. It can be exhausting for parents to monitor their child’s eating and create short-order meals for them. We understand how tough parenting can get.
If you, too, are dealing with parenting issues and need some guidance on positive parenting, we’ve got you covered. In this article, you’ll learn about positive parents and the concept of consequences for kids.
What Are Consequences?
In simple words, consequences are nothing but the results of your actions. These consequences help us make desired choices and do better in life. For instance, adults avoid watching a movie late at night on weekdays because it might affect their work the next day.
People avoid having coffee before bedtime because caffeine will make sleep difficult. Drivers don’t speed because it will cost them a ticket. Consequences are the results of our actions, natural and inevitable.
Are there different kinds of consequences?
Yes! There are two types of consequences – Natural and Logical.
Consequences that happen naturally without any interference are natural consequences. Let’s day; you forgot your jacket at home on a winter evening. Chances are you might catch a cold.
These consequences are usually caused by nature, a natural phenomenon, and it’s impossible to blame a person or a thing for such consequences. Natural consequences can teach you suitable life lessons.
When you execute a consequence on someone or something because of an action, it is referred to as a logical consequence. For example, parents scolding their children, “if you don’t clean your room and pick up your toys, I will put them in a box and lock it in the cupboard until next week.”
Or, “if you don’t return home by 9 pm, you’ll be grounded for a week”. Such consequences have a logic behind them and are adequate to get the work done. However, it would be best if you did not turn these consequences into harsh punishments.
Can there be harmful consequences?
Natural consequences are just simply caused by nature. Logical products are harsh but can help you in parenting. However, it would be best to be careful with the consequences to not turn into unfair and severe punishment. To make sure the consequences you plan are practical and cheerful, here are the five Rs you can follow:
The first thing you need to keep in mind is your consequence should be related to the action or misconduct. If it isn’t associated with the activity, it might be difficult for the child to understand and work on it. As a result, there will be no natural learning and positive outcome.
An example of an unrelated consequence is telling the child that you’ll take away their tablet if they don’t stop jumping on the couch. The tablet and the sofa have no connection with each other. Hence, this is an unrelated consequence.
A related consequence will include something like – “If you don’t follow the traffic rules and avoid wearing a helmet, you’ll not be allowed to ride your bike or motorbike.” Here, the action and consequence are related to each other. As a result, it will be more manageable for your child to learn and act.
Once you’ve figured out the relation between a consequence and action, make sure it is reasonable enough for the activity. For example, “If you leave your LEGOs on the floor, I’ll pack them up and store them in the locker for five days.”
It would be unreasonable to pack them away for months. Parents should consider the duration and extent of any consequence before imposing it on the child.
The big idea behind a consequence is to make your children learn from faulty behavior. Therefore, it’s essential to keep the consequence respectful. Avoid any consequence that involves shame, pain, accusation, or insult of the child.
For example, humiliating and scolding your child in front of your friends and family is not a good idea. It is disrespectful and will affect your child negatively. Likewise, physical punishment is a strict no-no.
4. Revealed in Advance
The best thing to do is reveal the consequences in advance. It would help if you made sure that the rules are clear to the child. This allows them to choose before they actually take action. But, on the other hand, it makes them a bit responsible for the consequences.
5. Repeated Back
Lastly, make it a habit to repeat the consequences in front of your child to make them remember it every time they take a faulty action. For example, have a talk session with your children over a campfire on a walk in the garden. Again, ensure the environment is relaxed, and your children are paying complete attention to what you are telling them.
Why is punishing your child a wrong decision?
Challenging situations might make you play the role of a wrong person, but being way too harsh on your child and giving them rough punishments can further worsen their behavior. Punishing your child in the form of pain, humiliation, or blame can leave a bad influence on life.
Punishment is an ineffective and harmful way that might lead to several mental illnesses and harmed relationships in your child’s adult life. You can read a detailed article about the negative impact of punishments on children, but a few of the adverse effects of punishment are given below:
Punishing your child can -
- damage your relationships with children.
- make your child feel at fault most of the time, leading to misbehavior.
- make your child hide things and become dishonest with you in order to avoid future punishments.
- might make your child normalize the abuse to use it with their children and people around them.
- damage the emotional aspect of making decisions and accepting the consequences.
- create bitterness.
- encourage selfish and self-centered behavior in the children.
- make the child avoid taking responsibility.
- reduce a child’s sense of empathy.
Read: 7 Fun Activities That Can Help Teach Your Child Empathy
Can I reward my child?
Good behavior is always rewarded. Incentivizing an action or behavior can help your child retake the same activity. Some award ideas for toddlers include daily or weekly rewards, like paying children for performing better in class or buying them an extra pair of shoes on following the rules of the play area.
Rewarding your child might seem like a beautiful way to encourage positive behavior. Well, that’s not how it works. Here’s why you should avoid using rewards for good behavior:
- Rewards can lead to a ‘What’s in it for me?’ perception for every task given to them.
- It might also create an unhealthy obsession or addiction to win rewards for each job.
- Your child will think that every good behavior requires a payment in return.
- It destroys the true joy and value of good conduct.
- It can lead to a lack of self-esteem and motivation for tasks.
Read: How To Motivate a Child: Effective Parenting Tips
The Good Thing About Using Consequences
Meaningful and thoughtful consequences can help you become better parents raising good children. Here are some benefits of consequences:
- The child will learn from their mistakes as they understand the consequences.
- Consequences help build self-esteem, leaving your child feeling loved, empowered, and confident enough to make their own decisions.
- Using consequences helps enhance the relationship between the parents and the child.
- It makes your child responsible and mature.
- Consequences eliminate any pain, blame, or humiliation that might lead to a mental illness in your child.
Read: 7 Practical Ways To Help Anxiety In Children
Is using consequences an essential part of positive parenting?
Yes, it is. Why? Because it helps create answerability for children without parents being the villain. It helps abolish any lousy behavior and inspires positive behavior. It makes the child accountable for their behavior and actions, and the result too. The child will understand their behavior better and learn how to make decisions that can positively impact.
Okay! But, how to start?
You might be thinking using consequences can turn out to be a great way to help your kids attain good behavior, but where to start? The best way is to take baby steps. Here’s what you can do:
- Take a deep breath, sit on a couch and think carefully about your child’s faulty behavior and the struggles in your parenting.
- Make a list of behaviors you want to address immediately and plan your consequences accordingly.
- Tell your kids about the new rules and consequences.
- Execute your consequences.
Types of consequences
Five Rs of Consequences:
4. Revealed in Advance
5. Repeated Back
We hope this article will help you improve your parenting skills and help you modify your child’s behavior. The key is to be patient and practice mindfulness. Check out:
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