22 Ways to Teach Learners to Take the Consequences of Their Behavior Seriously

Are you looking for ways to teach students to take the consequences of their behavior seriously? If so, keep reading.

1. Make the consequence of a behavior obvious by identifying the consequence as it occurs and discussing alternative behavior that would have prevented the particular consequence.

2. Praise those students in the classroom who engage in appropriate behavior.

3. Give the student an easily grasped list of consequences for unacceptable behavior.

4. Make sure that the student knows the relationship between unacceptable behavior and the consequences that follow.

5. Get the student to review the consequences of their behavior with someone they trust. Get the student to consider various choices they could have made and the various outcomes.

6. Get the student to make a list of consequences associated with regularly occurring behaviors (e.g., by disrupting others, the student will be perceived as unmannerly; by behaving aggressively, the student will cause people to avoid him/her).

7. Show the student when they failed to consider the consequences of their behavior, what they did wrong, what they should have done, and why.

8. Make sure that consequences are delivered continuously for behavior demonstrated (e.g., appropriate behavior results in positive consequences, and unacceptable behavior results in negative consequences).

9. Every time a consequence is delivered, whether it is positive or negative, have the student explain to you why they think it happened.

10. Give a learning experience that emphasizes the cause-and-effect relationship between unacceptable behavior and the inevitability of some form of consequence (e.g., both negative and positive behaviors and consequences).

11. Talk with the student to explain(a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., taking action before thinking about what they are doing) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., considering consequences, thinking about the correct response, considering other persons, etc.).

12. Take the student away from the learning experience until they can demonstrate appropriate behavior and self-control.

13. Praise the student for engaging in appropriate behavior: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., classroom privileges, passing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

14. Urge the student to avoid ingesting any substance (e.g., drugs, alcohol, cold remedies, etc.) that might further alter their capacity and ability to keep self-control.

15. Tell the student that it is their behavior that determines whether consequences are positive or negative.

16. Give the student logical consequences for unacceptable behavior(e.g., for disturbing others during group learning activities, the student should have to leave the learning experience).

17. Provide a routine (schedule) that will minimize erratic or impulsive behavior that may result in negative consequences.

18. Talk with the student about the need to avoid situations in which they may take part in risky behavior (e.g., if they are more likely to drive fast when their friends are in the car, do not drive with friends in the car; abstain from drinking alcohol during parties, etc.).

19. Make sure the student does not become involved in overstimulating learning activities.

20. Give the student many chances for social and academic success.

21. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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