Consequences, Consequences, Consequences, Consequences are obvious results of a situation. Consequences can either be natural or logical.
Seriously though, how do you differentiate natural consequences from logical consequences?
Firstly, logical consequences are not punishments neither are they angry responses to a situation.
For effectiveness, logical consequences should be planned in advance as the best solution to a problem and they can be planned with suggestions from the child and it should make sense in relation to the issue being considered.
The Positive Discipline Approach to Parenting propagated by Jane Nelson states that logical consequences should follow the Three Rs and an H formula;
- Related: It should be related to the situation
- Respectful: It should be respectful. Don’t blame, shame, don’t punish.
- Reasonable: It should be reasonable from both the adult and the child’s point of view
- Helpful: It should be helpful rather than hurtful.
Removing any of these eliminates the logical aspect of it. For instance, making a child suffer will remove the helpful and reasonable aspect of the discipline.
Tips For Coming Up With Logical Consequences
- Use the 4 Rs and an H as a guide.
- Logical consequences should be neither too strong nor too weak in relation to the behavior.
- Don’t act out of anger. Hence the need to agree on the logical consequence in advance. Parents who act out of anger usually impose consequences that don’t relate disproportional to the misbehavior.
- Logical consequences should occur as soon as possible after the misbehavior. Don’t delay them to the point where they become too far disconnected from the misbehavior.
- Logical consequences should be enforceable to ensure follow-through. Don’t make-up consequences you can’t enforce [remember to agree in advance except it is a totally new situation] to avoid making the child think that he can get away with the behavior next time.
- Be consistent. Except if a new logical consequence is agreed on.
- Logical consequences should be appropriate to the child’s age.
- Logical consequences are not threats. Threats have no value. Threats teach children to be afraid rather than learn how to problem-solve.
- Focus on the misbehavior and not the child. For instance, if your child misplaces an item, focus on the item by asking how she plans to get it back. Don’t shame the child by calling her careless or irresponsible.
- Focus on current misbehavior and not past ones. Don’t say “you always forget to do your chore”.
- Be kind but firm. The tone of voice and the words used can change a logical consequence to a punishment. Be careful of the words you use.
If it seems like a logical consequence will not work for the misbehavior, you may want to use another positive discipline tool.
Here are some examples of Logical Consequence
- If you watch TV beyond the agreed time, you will reduce your Television time tomorrow.
- You don’t do a chore at the agreed time; you will have to do it and miss out in another activity.
- If you don’t put your toys away, Mom will put them where they will be reachable for a few days.
Logical consequences can be effective because a child get to know what happens when he acts or does not act in certain ways when they are allowed to experience the consequence.
However, we need to ensure we don’t disguise punishments as logical consequences.
Hence, the best approach is to Focus on Solutions.
I hope you have learnt something. If yes, would you like to join me on the Parenting for Jannah Academy? You should join the Waitlist HERE to be notified when next we are open.