Wednesday, July 25, 2012

discipline with natural consequences

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one of my mom's favorite stories to tell about me was when i was about 2 years old and colored with crayons on the wall. my gram came home to find a lil Andie with a wet washcloth in hand scrubbing the wall, sniffling pitifully.  but you know what?  i never colored on the wall again. 

needless to say, when Bear and i had the conversation in the picture above, all i could think of was that story about me as a little kid. 


i could've reacted to this situation in a few different ways.

a.  taken away all of the pens, markers, etc
b.  put him in time-out
c.  made him clean it off

choice a solves the problem and prevents Bear from repeating the action again {at least until they're given back}, but it doesn't teach anything.

choice b removes him from what he did, but again, doesn't teach much.  sitting on a stool doesn't have anything to do with writing on a shoe.

choice c follows natural consequences.  if "this" happens, then "that" naturally happens. 


Bear and i had a small conversation about his decision. 
and i do mean brief3 questions.  here is the condensed version...
what are pens used for?   paper
are your shoes made of paper?  no
so should you write on them?  no


this walked Bear through his poor choice clearly and simply without mucking it up with lots of words.  then he got a wipe and cleaned it as best as he could. 


i ended up helping him finish cleaning it. but that's okay, because i want him to learn that when he makes mistakes, he'll have to try and fix them.


and if he can't do it all by himself, i'll be right there.


always.

 
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18 comments:

Christy said...

That's a great lesson. I tend to take the stuff away, and I need to learn better ways.

Angela said...

This makes so much sense! My husband and I have been struggling with what to do with our girls' when they are misbehaving. We don't do time-outs, spanking or yelling and we haven't made a reward chart yet. But, natural consequences make so much more sense anyway! Thanks for this post!

The Monko said...

We try and find natural consequences wherever possible. Often it involves having to put toys back in a box after he has intentionally emptied the entire box on the floor.
I also quite like instant karma. Like the other day when I said "Goblin please stay on the beach and don't go round there", he ignored me, walked across the grass and instantly got a prickle in his foot. I didn't want him to be hurt but I couldn't help thinking that the instant karma might mean next time he would listen to my request.

Kali at The Vintage Milk House said...

Perfect! & I love how you say he needs to try to fix it himself and if he can't Mommy will always be there. PERFECT!!!!!

Brittany said...

This is great and something we do as well. My 15 month old has a terrible habit of throwing food from her high chair tray. I now make her pick up the food she has thrown on the floor, with my help and direction.

Art Mama said...

I never would have thought to write out a post like this - but it is such a good reminder. Thanks!

Kimberly Sminkey said...

love this gentle learning lesson...{smile} what a great way to teach your little guy that there are consequences to all actions! you're such a great mommy!

Valerie @ Glittering Muffins said...

Good post too many people don't teach consequences. We are doing the same with potty training right now, he thinks it's a good joke to put his wee wee up while peeing. I've explained it's not and we don't like cleaning pee, so now he has to clean it up, he doesn't do it as often now, as he's not a fan of cleaning pee.

Gina said...

I love this post! I think it is so important to really talk to kids about why they are or are not allowed to do certain things. Even at my son's young age, I try to explain as much as possible...I think he understands more than I think. ;)

MaryAnne K said...

I'm all about natural consequences - and I've used that "scrub your drawing off the wall" one. Only had to once :)

Rebekah said...

We are trying our best to use natural consequences and I think it's the best way to teach kids, but sometimes it's so hard to find a natural/logical consequence. Or my feelings get in the way and I choose a consequence that isn't going to teach her anything but to be mad at me not be sorry for what she did wrong.

Andie's mom said...

Have always cherished that story....hope we can keep him out of the tree:):). Luv, mom

Bockheim-Myers Clan said...

I need help my 36 month old can and does,remove himself from his carseat.....natural consequence - you can't ride in the car.....not realistic ...ideas?

Creative Playhouse said...

Great post Andy!

The Iowa Farmer's Wife said...

This is great! We do this too. It's sometimes hard to have a consequence that goes exactly with the behavior, but it works really well! I think it helps them logically connect the if I do this, this will happen.

andie jaye said...

I have some thoughts from myself and a few other moms that I'd like to share with your about this. You can email me at andiejaye {at} cox {dot} net and I'll get back to you quickly.

Tiffany said...

I have to constantly remind myself to try to think of natural consequences. I admit to sometimes finding myself a little stumped. But I really appreciate reading other's ideas to file away for when it happens to us!

Anonymous said...

Pull over when he does it and tell him u can't go til he buckles himself again.

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