Children Expect Consequences

A few thoughts about giving children consequences…


I recently spoke with a woman who was describing a situation with her son.  She described she had clearly described the behavior she wanted from her child, why she wanted it from him, the time frame she wanted it and the consequences he would experience if he did not do it.  When the situation for the child to decide to do as asked, he refused and she, as she spoke, cringed and acknowledged that she gave him the consequences.


I stopped her and asked why she cringed.  She said that she felt bad about giving him the consequeces, “I didn’t want to take his electronics away…He likes to play with them…I don’t understand why he just didn’t clean up his room…Then he could have had his game…”  She indicated he accepted his consequences without much protest and she followed through with the consequences as stated.


I suggested to her that he EXPECTED the consequences and in some way was testing her to see if she would really give him the consequences.  My experience is that parents feel bad about following through with consequences but that their children really expect them when they are “bad”.  They get them at school when they are “bad” and are taught principles of social justice…i.e., these are the rules and if you brake them, you will get this consequence…it is up to you.


The trick is, I think, is being able to give consequences and still love them, not brow-beat them after you have given them(consequences).  So, when the circumstance calls for it, give them, still love them and watch…if you are doing it right, they(the kid) will accept them and go on.


More later…

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