May 16, 2023

A lot of children are grounded during a fit of emotion for the parent. The issue with just haphazardly giving consequences when you are emotional breeds room for confusion, contention, and frustration for all parties involved. No young person will believe a consequence
is fair unless they have input in the matter. Most importantly though, if you need to consequence your child let’s make sure the punishment fits the crime.

Most common disconnects in giving consequences include the intensity not matching the behavior, for an unspecified amount of time, and for being unrealistic and impractical. Here is an example:

The behavior: A teen disregards curfew for the first time and returns home three hours late.

The consequence: Kicked out of the house, effective immediately, never to live in the house!

A more realistic, practical, and matching-of-intensity consequence: They are not allowed to go out for the next three days. Since they drove on the night they were out, they will also not be able to use their car for the next three days. After the three days, we can discuss new curfews
and agreed-upon consequences ahead of time.

The best kind of consequence is a natural consequence. As a parent, understand that no matter how logical a consequence is that you create for your child, the one they will learn from most is a natural consequence. A natural consequence is one that cannot be predicted or controlled, but rather experienced. A simple example being caught in the rain without a rain jacket or umbrella. No consequence will ever feel fair, and as a parent you can feel so much more in control if you practice logical consequences when you are punishing your child.

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