Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Consequences Part II

Last week I talked about setting up appropriate consequences for misbehavior. I presented you with a list of different scenarios and asked that you think of a logical consequence for each. The following aren't necessarily the "right" answers, but just some ideas that I had and that others shared with me in a parenting class I taught. The comments shared on last weeks post were also good ideas.

  • A two-year-old throws blocks at another child. First, try saying, "Blocks are not for throwing. Blocks are for building." Model how to properly play with the blocks. If child continues to throw them, then the blocks need to be put away. It is important that parents recognize that young children really may not know better. Teach them and model good behavior for them. Give them another chance to play appropriately before putting the blocks away.
  • A four-year-old is whining. Tell the child that you won't be able to listen to him/her until he talks in a nice voice. Also, look at the cause for the misbehavior. Is your child hungry or tired? Does he have an unfulfilled need that you should attend to as the parent?
  • An eight-year-old refuses to do homework. Withdraw other privileges until the homework is done. This could include media time or playing with friends, etc. Be sure to provide your child with the assistance and encouragement that he/she needs.
  • A ten-year-old is pestering younger sibling. You could have the ten-year-old complete a special job to use all of that energy or maybe he/she could write a note of apology to the younger sibling.
  • A teenager is late for curfew. You could have your child owe you the same amount of time that they are late for chores of your choice. Or you could make the curfew earlier for the next night. The key here is recognizing the temperament of your child and finding a consequence that will work for both of you. Have your child agree to the consequence.
It can take some creativity to come up with consequences that are tied to the misbehavior and work for both you and your child. Are their certain situations that you have had a hard time coming up with logical consequences for? If so share them and the readers and I will help come up with ideas to help you in your parenting dilemmas.

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