Consequences are the results of behaviour. Consequences can be positive (rewarding, usually the result of positive behaviour) or negative (disappointing, usually the result of negative behaviour.
There are two types of consequences:
- Natural Consequences:
- Natural consequences can be imposed or happen naturally without intervention. Safety must always be the first concern of any strategy prior to implementation.
- EXAMPLE: A child becomes angry and throws a toy causing it to break, therefore it can no longer be played with.
- EXAMPLE: A child wears rubber boots in the rain, therefore their feet stay dry.
It is important to help the child to understand the consequences of their choices. A disappointing consequence can be a valuable teachable moment. Without using “I told you so” try to help the child understand how their decisions/actions brought them to the natural consequence.
- Logical Consequences:
- In logical consequences, an adult imposes a consequence that directly relates to the behaviour.
- EXAMPLE: When a child makes a mess, they need to clean it up.
- EXAMPLE: When a child receives extra playtime, because they have been playing positively.
1. Do not use/implement natural or logical consequences that put a child’s safety or well being at risk.
2. Consequences are not punishments. Consequences allow for teachable moments, and encourage children to make connections between their behaviour and naturally occurring, or logically implemented outcomes.
3. Try to implement logical consequences immediately, or as soon after the behaviour as possible. EXAMPLE: Don’t remove privileges on Wednesday, for behaviour that occurred on Saturday
4. Make consequences appropriate to your child’s age and development.
5. Discuss with your child, and help them to make the connection between their actions and the occurring consequence.
6. Don’t forget to use rewards and praise to positively consequence your child for positive behaviour.