What are Consequences?

These are outcomes (positive or negative) that come about following certain actions and have an effect on future behavior. Positive consequences show the kids they’ve done something the parents like. They’re more likely to repeat that behavior when parents use positive consequences. Negative consequences let the kids understand that parents don’t like what they’ve done. They’re less likely to repeat that behavior when parents use negative consequences.

Parents can use the following five steps to use consequences to stop misbehavior.

Step 1: Identifying the misbehavior

Both parents and kids need to know which behaviors are okay and which aren’t okay. If the kids are doing something parents don’t like and want to stop, they should warn that it needs to change or they’ll use a consequence. Parents should exactly mention what they want to see the kids do.

Step 2: Giving a warning

Parents need to tell the kids that they’ll get a consequence they don’t like if their behavior doesn’t change. Parents should only warn if they want to follow through with the consequence. If they don’t, the kids won’t take the warning seriously.

Step 3: Giving a consequence

Parents have to follow through with a positive or negative consequence after warning. They should give a positive consequence if the kids did what they asked. This lets them know that parents like the choice they made. Positive consequences include pats on the back, praise, hugs, or other things. Parents should give a negative consequence if the kids didn’t do what they asked. This lets them know that parents don’t like the choice they made.

Some common negative consequences include the following:

  •         Ignoring: When parents ignore, they take all their attention away from their kids and their behavior.
  •         Distraction: When kids are distracted, their attention gets redirected to something else. Distraction is more convenient to utilize when parents plan in advance how they’ll handle situations that might be difficult for their kids.
  •         Time-out: It moves the kids to a place free of anyone or anything that may provide attention.
  •         Delay of a privilege: It means that the kids have to wait to get something they like. When parents remove privileges, they take away activities or things their kids like. The privileges parents remove should be logically associated with the misbehavior of young kids.

If these aren’t possible or don’t work, parents should think about the consequences associated with the misbehavior.

Step 4: Telling them why

Parents need to let the kids know the reason behind the negative consequence. They should give consequences immediately after the misbehavior. This helps the kids understand what they did to receive the negative consequence. If the kids throw tantrums, it shouldn’t affect parents’ decision to follow through.

Step 5: Going back to positive communication

Parents should return to being positive with the kids once the consequence is over. If a privilege is delayed or removed, they can remind the kids of the good behavior they want to see. They need to give praise or other rewards when their kids do the right thing.

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