Effective Consequences for Misbehavior: 5 Tips for Success

Effective Consequences for Misbehavior: 5 Tips for Success

The sound of your daughter’s front door shaking the house makes you cringe. You confronted her tonight because she has come home from school late three times this week without calling you first.

Things didn’t go well.

She’s in her bedroom brooding after a long and loud argument. You march to the computer. You are tired of the constant fights, disrespect, and door slams. You’ve had it and are looking for help.

You hop on the internet and type in only one question:

What is the best punishment to punish my child for his disrespect and defiance

If you knew how frequently this question is asked in my field! I’d love to give you an honest, straightforward answer.

But I can’t.

You’re asking the incorrect question.

I have noticed that many parents who come to me first for help are either taking my FREE ONLINE CLASS or seeking private coaching.

Parents want to know if punishments will work. I tell them that punishments do not work.

When the right foundation is laid, results can follow!

Can this problem be solved in another way?

You should ask yourself first: Is there another way to solve this problem?

There are other tools that you can use to improve parenting before you even need to implement consequences.

MIND BODY SOUL TIME (r) connection is one of the most effective tools that we teach in Positive Parenting Solution. (MBST). This simple tool is a powerful way to reduce power struggles and bad behavior.

You only need to spend 10-15 minutes a day playing with your child. That’s right-playing!

Allow them to choose an activity and give them the attention they crave. By meeting their need for emotional connection and positive attention, behavior improves almost instantly.

If your child is older and playing isn’t their thing anymore, you can spend time together doing something they enjoy. You can encourage their interest in art by enrolling them in a pottery class or practicing your photography skills on a nature hike.

It doesn’t matter how you do it; it’s just that you do something with each other.

You may be surprised to learn that The 7-Step Success System for Parenting offers 37 parenting tools you can easily implement. Consequences is one option, but it’s not the only one.

Remember that your child’s good behavior is a joint effort. You must work together with them… taking the time to teach them positive behaviors and working with them to find solutions when problems arise.

You can help your child learn to say “no” in difficult situations by training them beforehand.

Relationships with children and their behavior are a two-way street. There is plenty of giving and taking. You can see the results when you provide them with the love and support they deserve.

Check out Dr. Ross Green’s Collaborative Problem Solving Approach for Positive Parenting Solutions members. It’s in The Explosive Children Expert Series Masterclass in the Seven-Step Parenting System.

These are only a few of the many resources that should and can be used to prevent consequences. We offer 37 parenting tools that are easy to implement in the 7-Step Success System.

There are many resources available to parents. You should only need to use them in rare cases.

Let’s get to the tips now that you’ve seen a few ways to use without consequences.

Tip #1: Avoid Punishment

This first tip may seem impossible. I understand. Parents are quick to punish their children when they act out.

Many parents do not understand that punishments and consequences are different.

What’s the difference between them?

Dr. Jane Nelsen, the mother of positive discipline, explained it best by describing punishment as anything that causes a child to feel shame, guilt, or pain.

You may feel that the only way to stop your son from hitting his sister is to give him a spanking. In reality, this does not change your child’s future behavior. You can bet that he’ll pound her again, even if he stops at the time.

This is especially true for children.

The kids think if Mom and Dad don’t want to see me hit, then why do they hit me?

The same goes for punishments that make your child feel embarrassed or humiliated, such as yelling in front of friends. They’re likely to cause a rift in your relationship and may even lead to your child telling lies.

It is not possible to stop bad behavior by using negative emotions. When used correctly, consequences will help your child make better choices next time.

Tip #2: Give an Advance Warning

You may be surprised at the abilities of your children, but mind reading is not one of them.

You’ve told your toddler to keep away from the stove so he knows it is hot.

You’ve trained your older child to cross the street safely by teaching her to look in both directions.

It’s no secret that our children are impulsive. They act before they even think, especially when they’re young. It’s our responsibility to ensure that they are fully prepared and aware of the consequences of their actions.

If you want to give your child effective consequences, it’s important that they feel like punishment.

Before making a mistake, kids need to be aware of the consequences.

What does it sound like?

**Friendly Note: Kids deserve grace when they make mistakes. These warnings should be given to children only if they have a pattern of repeated behavior.

You’re welcome! Here are some examples:

Samantha, I am so proud of you. You are maturing in many ways. Now you can remember what you need to bring to gym class. In the future, I won’t be driving you to school with your forgotten gym clothes or sneakers. You’ll miss the gym time if you forget your shoes on gym day. What systems or reminders could you put in place to make it easier for you to remember?

Marcus, I saw that you were using your iPad when our family was tech-free. You will lose the iPad privileges you have for three days if you decide to sneak in more tech time. Do you have any ideas to help you to remember our rules for tech? You may want to set up a system that will let you know the remaining time.

You can then ask them to repeat the expected outcome and possible consequences so that they are crystal clear about what’s going to happen. Your kids will be more likely to follow through with the consequences if they know them before you do. It is not you who will be responsible for the next step.

This is not only incredibly liberating for you, the parent, but it also gives your child a sense of control and power (which they love!) ).

Don’t forget that you want to set them up for success. Create systems and reminders. Let them know that you are confident they will be able to make the best decision on their own.

You’ll be amazed at how powerful that can be.

Tip 3: Look for natural consequences first

If you’re looking for the best of the best in terms of natural consequences, this is the way to go. Seek them out first!

Logical Consequences are those that you can influence, whereas Natural Consequences do not.

Imagine that your child left his homework at home on the desk. He forgot to place the assignment in his bag before leaving the house.

He was warned (in Step 2 of the course ) that he had to ensure his schoolwork made it with him. This conversation has been repeated many times. He is aware of the consequences.

When he realizes he forgot his homework and knows that it’s his job to remember, he will understand that the consequences are on him. A late assignment will result in a lower grade.

Natural Consequences is a great way to teach your children about Life. Natural Consequences: Life gets to be the biggest teacher!

In the future, he will likely be more insistent about remembering to wear his jersey. You don’t need to remind him!

What a fantastic thing!!

Once the natural consequences have played out, then you can offer to help. Ask him calmly, and without an “I told you so” attitude, how he could tweak his routine in order to prevent the same issue from happening again.

Useful Hint: Be sure that the consequences are reasonable, either in terms of severity or duration.

Your daughter, for example, insists that she walk to the bus stop wearing shorts in February. This is a great opportunity to have a natural consequence. What about a three-hour Girl Scout winter hike? No, the consequences are just too risky.

You could tell her that you will give her a lift when she is dressed properly. Also, let her know that she might miss the hike if she arrives late.

In the same way, a consequence that could cause a person serious inconvenience is not appropriate. If this is the case, you may want to consider using another tool from our Toolbox.

It’s not possible to always find a natural consequence for each misbehavior. Then, you will move on to a logical result.

Tip #4: Select Consequences That Fit The Misbehavior

Natural consequences are more effective than logical consequences because they allow Life to be the teacher. But sometimes, they aren’t an option. It’s then that we as parents have to take on the difficult task of imposing the consequences.

Logical consequences can be tricky because they must be just that – logic! Which is not always the easiest thing to figure out in a hurry.

It is important to remember that the consequences must be logical and related to your child’s misbehavior.

They’ll be worthless if there is no relationship. Your child will only become angry with you and not learn from their mistakes.

It is easier to say than do, but determining a logical consequence. . .

We all tend to get too attached to our child’s “currency.” You know, the thing they love, and we use it as a punishment for all sorts of misbehavior.

You may have canceled playdates for your daughter because she hit her sister or taken away video games from your son because he refused to mow the grass.

Most often, we will use anything that has the greatest leverage in order to control our children.

This may seem to work on the surface, like your son giving up and mowing the grass. But you’re ensuring a rise in power struggles in the future.

May decide that their “currency,” after all, isn’t worth much and would rather fight back and be stubborn.

When the consequences are not directly linked to the behavior, then nothing is learned.

What does a good Logical Effect look like?

You asked a good question.

Imagine that your 12-year-old received a brand-new drum set as a gift. You’ve been wanting her to learn for years, but you don’t feel she is old enough.

This gift has only one condition: no playing between 8 pm and 8 am.

You tell her ahead of the consequences of breaking this rule. She will lose her drum privileges in three days. You explain the implications, which are reasonable and relevant. She repeats it to you until she understands. You brainstorm with her about ways to remind herself to finish by 8:00, and she sets a recurring alert on her watch.

She should be able to manage that, shouldn’t she?


She pushes her limits and doesn’t show any signs of stopping even at 8:15. You must now follow through on the consequences you have set. You know, as much as it would be nice to let the world teach you this lesson, that’s your job.

You enter the room in a calm tone and say: “I see that you have chosen to lose your drumming privileges because you ignored the agreed upon playing hours. You will need to store your drumsticks until Thursday. This is an opportunity to learn, and I’m confident you will be able follow the rules in the future.”

She protests. She protests.

You’ll also want to ensure that Logical consequences are reasonable in terms of severity and duration. If you’re able to live with the consequences, it will be easier for you to carry them out.


Tip #5 – Make it a Teachable moment

We parents love to teach our children.

It’s a great feeling to see our children finally grasp a lesson. It’s so rewarding!

We must also remember not to use consequences in a way that teaches our children nothing.

Our ultimate goal is not to eliminate misbehavior…

What are you going to say, Amy?

The ultimate goal of our parenting is to use and find strategies that are the most helpful for our child while maintaining a strong connection between parent and child.

Do we wish our children to be better behaved? Absolutely!

It’s more important that each consequence has a positive impact on their lives. The goal is to ensure that the lessons are valuable enough to be remembered for future use.

Avoid the “I told ya so” when you are processing what has happened to your child.

You’re probably frustrated. “I know that it will be difficult for you to give up your screen-time privileges. You can still learn something from this. You’ll know how to follow the rules when you play next time .”

Consequences should be used sparingly, as I have said. Many times, there are other more effective strategies that you can try first.

What if you are left wondering how to deal with the consequences of your actions? Teachable moments aren’t only for children.

When it is the one who needs to learn a lesson, it’s often.

Final Thoughts

Every parent has, at some point, struggled to understand how to give out appropriate consequences. If you are in the trenches of implications, there is no time like now to take control.

The five tips above are a great place to start, but there are plenty more resources available to help you stop your child’s bad behavior.

You’ll become a master of consequences in no time with practice and intent!

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