This is a repost from a Summer of 2009. Bubs is older now but we still use natural consequences to help our children learn the importance of obedience.
I love natural consequences. I think allowing life to provide its
own consequences is the best form of discipline.
But using them with younger children can be difficult to do. Today, Bubs (age 5) got a bitter taste of natural consequences.
While Little Man and Sweet Pea were taking naps,
Bubs and I ventured out to the garden to give it some much needed tender
loving care. Due to the rain we had to wait until afternoon time to
work in the dry soil; so the temperatures were pretty high.
I gave Bubs a
job with plans to help him when I finished what I was doing. The job
was VERY simple and would take him just a few minutes to complete without help.
For some reason, Bubs thought the job was too hard for him. Several
times he “tried” and it didn’t work. Then in the next moment he would get
excited because it actually worked but quickly returned to fussing. I
even helped at one point to show him how and yet he cried the entire
After my attempt, he was told that he had a job to do and that mommy would not be helping him. I also told him that I was going to get into our
little pool afterwards to cool off. He was welcome to join me if his job
Needless to say, he complained and cried
for about an hour. I finished my job and got into the pool. He was
Everything inside me wanted to bend, give in, but I knew that I had to
be strong for his sake.
While I was swimming alone, Bubs would ask me if he could get into the pool. Each time I calmly
said that I would love to have him join me, after he got his job done.
he started working on it. He got about half way done and started
fussing again. Pretty soon, I had to get out of the pool. Of course he
was devastated knowing that he had just blown his opportunity to swim.
he did finish his job – two hours later. When he was done, Bubs came
into the house with a smile on his face. He knew that he had completed
the job and he also knew that Mommy meant what she says.