Letting Children Experience Consequences
In this excerpt from Susie Walton’s book, Key to Personal Freedom: How Myths Affect Our Family Lives, Walton tackles the overprotective parent. What you overprotect, you make weak. Letting our children experience the consequences of their mistakes ultimately makes them stronger.
Common Parenting Myth: It’s My Job to Keep My Children Happy and to Protect Them from Getting Hurt!
You may be thinking, life is scary or dangerous, but my question to you is this:
“Do you want your children living in fear or do you want them living in awareness?”
There is no better teacher than life itself. Yes, of course, as parents we want to protect our children from the downs in life, but what if you change your belief and start allowing your kids to experience more of life?
New Idea: Allow Natural or Logical Consequences to Happen.
What will happen if I don’t intervene? If the answer is nothing that causes physical harm or humiliation, then let it happen! That is a natural consequence, and ther are the best teachers in life. Usually, they come about when we do not not expect them, such as a child climbing on a park bench who happens to slip and fall. As an example, you are at the beach and you told you child not to get too close to the water as a wave could knock her down, but she persists anyway. You are standing right next to her. Stop warning her and let the wave knock her down. In other words, let the wave do the teaching, not you.
When you are not willing to allow a natural consequence to occur because it is too dangerous or will cause lasting damage, use a logical consequence instead. Logical consequences are not about teaching a lesson, it’s about setting a limit for acceptable behavior. Logical consequences work best when they come out of a mutual agreement you have made with your child. When setting a logical consequence, it is best to follow the Rule of the 5 Rs.
The 5 Rs of Logical Consequences
- Is it respectful?
- Is it reasonable?
- Is it related?
- Does it teach responsibility?
- Does it lead to a resolution?
Consequences as Your Kids Get Older
For your younger children, consequences are more effective when they are implemented as quickly as possible. As your kids become older, you will find less need to implement logical consequences as you will be working together to resolve issues through win-win conflict resolution.
More Tips for Setting Consequences with Your Children
- Stop “remembering” for your child.Whether it’s his lunch, math book, soccer gear– your child will become more responsible for these things if you’re not always delivering them to him when they are forgotten.
- Let the consequence do the talking.This way, you don’t have to be the bad guy.
- When setting a logical consequence, own the problem. “I am not willing for the garbage to pile up in the kitchen…”
- Talk about logical consequences up front. That way the boundaries are very clear.
- If something works for a while and then stops working, come up with a new idea. Don’t give up, renegotiate.
- Have fun.
It is not our job as parents to overprotect our children; it’s our job to prepare them. Remember, what you overprotect, you make weak. Letting them experience the consequences of their mistakes, ultimately makes our children stronger.
by Susie Walton
This is just an excerpt from Susie Walton’s book, Key to Personal Freedom: How Myths Affect Our Family Lives. To read the rest this chapter and the rest of the book in its entirety, you can purchase the book here.
See related posts:
Was this article helpful? Please rate it, share it or leave a comment!
The Overprotective Parent: Letting Your Child Experience Consequences,