Disciplining our children can definitely be one of the hardest parts of parenting. Many times, we get lazy and let something pass, only to have it come up time and time again. Or, maybe it’s not laziness, it’s the fact that we’re just plain scared! We don’t want to upset our kids and we always want them to be happy and do what’s best for them. But, in retrospect, the things that can be best for them is to effectively learn how to handle situations that may not go their way. MeaningfulMama.com has a great article on Discipline and Consequences for Kids that can come from behavior that isn’t tip-top from our children and we love it! None of us want our kids to be the difficult one in a group and it’s something that they will need to be model citizens in the future.
Good things don’t always happen when actions don’t justify it. Kids need to learn that in the real world, how they act and what they do can have serious ramifications, but learning from their mistakes will only help to bring about a more positive outcome in the future. It’s not always going to be feasible to protect our kids from the bad things in the world, but we can teach them how to handle negative things that may happen to them with grace, dignity and class.
Another important thing that the MeaningfulMama.com drives home? That it is important to make sure that whatever consequences are given to kids for their behavior needs to make sense for the situation at home. So these real life examples will help you to clarify what to do and when, instead of being misled by your feelings and reactions in the heat of the moment! Many times kids may be curious and simply learning about the things in the world and exploring what they have never experienced. We need to remember that kids aren’t always being willfully defiant!
Various Consequences in Different Parenting Situations
- Do you have a child that tends to be impulsive, which results in some destruction around the house? Things like ripping holes in things, coloring on walls, cutting items that shouldn’t have been cut? Usually, the first reaction is to take these items away from them. But you know what? Generally, they’ll just move onto the next thing that they can find to destroy right away. Instead, think about having your child work to replace the items they are ruining. How? Maybe they will now have to do some extra chores around the house. By helping to pay for the items that they are ruining, they will start learning that the consequence isn’t worth the behavior that they are doing.
- An old tried and true one is what to do if your child isn’t meeting the responsibilities that have been set out for them, whether at home or at school. The natural consequence for this can be that they lose the privilege of outside “fun time” until they have proven they can meet these responsibilities in the future. Things like missing out on sports practices, play dates, or birthday parties they were supposed to attend can be a huge motivator to start working on the goals that they need to meet!
- Are you having a hard time getting your kids to clean up after they are done playing and throwing everything around the house? You’re not the only one! And how many times do you just clean it all up yourself, because you just want it done and everything put in it’s place?! The MeaningfulMama.com has great consequence ideas for this dilemma! Let them clean it up themselves! Start making it a priority to let them know that moving forward, they are going to be responsible for picking up every little piece of everything that they have left out. Another strategy is to either take things away that they aren’t picking up, either temporarily or permanently! They need to understand that if they have a hard time keeping their toys picked up and taken care of, than maybe it is unnecessary to have so many toys to begin with. Think about also creating a “prize bin” where they can earn toys back that were taken away as they follow the rules and listen to what has to happen. It can be very motivating!
- We’ve all had difficulties in getting our children to go to bed and stay in bed. One trick that the MeaningfulMama.com has tried is to take time away from them that they otherwise would have been able to spend with you. For example, if they typically go to bed at 8:00 but keep coming down until 8:30, the next night their bedtime will get moved to 7:30. This will help them to learn it is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated to continue to come down after bedtime and will know that their tricks won’t work unless there is an emergency.
- Do you have a lot of whining and crying going on in your home? A big one that works in this scenario is to simply take them away from the situation and send them to a quiet space where they will be alone. While it’s not a punishment and you want them to express how they feel, it also won’t be tolerated to listen to constant crying and whining. They need to learn to get control of their behavior and emotions so they are better able to handle situations that they will face as they grow.
- Is there an attitude problem with your child that you’re trying to get under control? Are they lacking respect and talking back on a regular basis? First, it’s always very important to stay calm and not react in frustration. Than use the magical phrase, “Try it again.” This gives them the opportunity to start over and cooperate with positive interaction. It can get frustrating for kids to have to try things over and over and instead of not being able to get what they want by acting horribly, they learn to express themselves appropriately. Don’t fall into the trap of arguing with your child by trying to reason and negotiate with them. It just doesn’t work when children are young. Just have them keep trying until they get it right and remain calm!
MeaningfulMama.com made this awesome chart to help decide what to do in different situations and they even made it available to print! Also don’t forget to work with your children on using the standard please and thank you and helping your children to share. This will help them work on some of these items on their own socially where they will learn what to do in situations in groups. Enjoy!
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