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You know the saying, “Make the punishment fit the crime.” And the older our kiddos get, the more I understand the importance of this statement.
But sometimes I feel like my kids don’t really care if they are disciplined. In my mind, if they aren’t visually upset by the consequence then I didn’t choose a good one. But author and speaker Dr. Charles Fay says “Kids don’t need to be upset about consequences to learn from consequences.”
With or without a response from my children, the better the consequence, the more learning that occurs. To increase the learning curve, I need to make sure that my consequences meet the following guidelines:
1. The consequences are logical.
Sometimes my consequences are more about me “getting even” than training. Good consequences fit the crime. The best consequences are natural, meaning that life provides the consequence instead of the parent. For example…a child doesn’t turn in a permission slip to go on a field trip. The child doesn’t go on the field trip.
2. The consequence makes sense given the child’s mistake or misbehavior.
Don’t choose a 3-hour consequence for a 3-minute crime. Also keep in mind the child’s age when choosing a consequence. For example, a typical timeout is 1 minute per the child’s age.
3. They are provided with love.
God is our greatest example of this.
4. The consequence is delivered with sincere empathy instead of frustration, anger, or sarcasm.
Love is patient, love is kind… If you are anger, delay the consequence until you can cool down.
5. They are enforceable.
Choice a consequence that you can measure as completed or not.
6.They are preceded with very few words.
This may be one of the most important guidelines. Read more on “I Talk Too Much“.
7. Before the consequence is provided, there are no repeated warnings, threats, or lectures.
Again, “I Talk Too Much“.
8. When they are over, they are over.
Forgive and Forget.
9. After providing the consequence, don’t rub salt in the wounds by lecturing, moralizing, or trying to make sure that the child has learned a lesson.
Ecclesiastes 6:11 “The more words you speak, the less they mean. So what good are they?”
The above suggestions are from a newsletter by Love and Logic, with the commentary begin mine. If you are not familiar with Love and Logic, you need to be. The premise of this discipline method is to offer loving and logical choices.
Also view the ABCJLM Parenting Videos on YouTube.
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