Honor A Child’s Ability to Choose – use consequences to help children learn
In order for a child to understand responsibility, they must also have the power to choose. Learning that every choice has a consequence is wisdom’s best teacher. Using consequences to help a child learn teaches them through experience that every decision they make ultimately has a repercussion – some better than others. Each decision made follows a natural and logical sequence of consequences and if the parent steps into that natural order of accountability the learning moment is gone.
When we parents learn to apply the predictability of natural consequences with our children, the predictable outcomes present amazing teaching opportunities. Each consequence then presents a wonderful debriefing moment for creative teaching, for example, you might ask your child, “How could we have helped you more?” Let understanding rule the day.
Punishment is Arbitrary
When we punish our children, the focus is on us, the adult, and we become the erratic authority of suffering. Suffering has a tendency to create deep wounds, and it’s a lousy teacher. However, when we remove ourselves from the equation and teach our children by getting out of the way – the result, effect or outcome is the natural teacher. It’s simple science, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Ground rules are set, expectations are laid-out and then we must honor our child’s ability to choose.
Consequences administered in a helpful way are natural and logical and they can’t be manipulated, by using them as the teacher, we can become the coach and get out of the way for our children to learn, but repercussions delivered in a harsh way are still a punishment – you just put a different label on it.
When we allow the situation to teach the child and as parents use ingenuity and creativity in an environment of safety to create a logical connection to the misbehavior we’re no longer the bad guy and the child must assume responsibility for their own actions.
Here’s a Profound Concept: Don’t be the Message – Use Consequences to help our children learn
When children begin to learn the aftermath of each free-will decision, the lesson is more empowering, and delivers a deeper understanding about taking responsibility for their own actions. “If I act out they’d kill me” to understanding, “If I act out, it would kill them.” The objective of discipline should be to teach. We want our children to become wiser and better. One of the best ways to teach children about the importance of obedience is to use of consequences help our children learn. Choose your weapon wisely: coach or punisher – they both have lasting effects on your relationship with your child.
Read more download the FamilyIQ PDFUsing Consequences to Help Children Learn . . .