Raising children is by no means an easy task; misbehavior is a normal part of growing up. Parents must select a discipline method that fits their beliefs and values. Allowing children to experience the consequences of their behavior is one method.
Consequences should be viewed as learning experiences and not punishment. The purpose of consequence utilization is to help the child learn responsibility and how to make decisions. Natural consequences allow children to learn from the natural order of the world while logical consequences are arranged by the parents. Natural consequences should not be used if the health or safety of the child is involved.
A few things to remember when utilizing consequences:
1. Using consequences as a discipline method helps children learn to take responsibility for their behavior.
2. Consequences must be logically related to the misbehavior.
3. The child must see the relationship between misbehavior and the consequence, or it will not work.
4. The child must know that there is a choice when logical consequences are used.
5. Use consequences in a firm, kind, friendly manner.
6. Time-outs work well when your children quarrel and fight.
7. Call time-outs in a firm, calm voice.
8. Calling a time-out instead of punishing makes for a happier atmosphere in the home.
9. Taking a child to Think Space helps children think about solutions and take responsibility for their own behavioral choices.
10 .A reverse time-out means that the parents isolate themselves from the child instead of isolating the child.
To learn more about how to effectively use consequences, ask for the NebGuide “Consequences Teach Responsibility” (G1818) at your local University of Nebraska Extension office or available on the Internet at http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs