Today I want to share with you one consequence idea that is working for us. When raising kids, I like to keep the end goal in mind. We want kids who love the Lord, are respectful, self-controlled, hard-working, good thinkers and who contribute positively to our society. With that end in sight, I recognize that it is important to have a good method of discipline in place. Finding appropriate consequences that make sense is part of the parenting process.
I know there are some that believe children should not be taught to obey. To learn more about their arguments as well as hear my opinion on the subject, please visit my post, “Is Obey the New Four Letter Word?” In short, I believe teaching obedience is essential.
When kids don’t obey, I believe finding natural consequences is important. While I do think there are natural consequences that make sense for specific infractions (as noted in the post linked to in the first paragraph), I also think there are times where the answers don’t seem as clear. Therefore, a parent is left wondering, how do I parent this specific situation?
Main Parenting Principles to Keep in Mind
- Distinguish between willful defiance vs. childhood disobedience.
- Give them a chance to fix their attitude and obey with this simple phrase.
- Discipline in a gentle and calm voice.
- Don’t engage in a battle.
- Use this game to practice obedience with young kids.
- Keep in mind the different phases of parenting. Teaching obedience will look different in these stages.
- If the behavior is a repeat offense, have life change for them until it is straightened out like I suggested in this post.
- Keep on top of discipline in a consistent way. It doesn’t always need to look the same every time because situations will change and each child is different, but we don’t want them to get away with behavior that is disobedient, disrespectful or inappropriate.
One Consequence Idea that is Working for Us
While I’ve tried to quickly establish the importance of obedience and consistent consequences, I’ve also been able to touch on some general guiding principles when disciplining children. Now I get to share with you one consequence idea that is working for us right now. Keep in mind that my children are a little bit older – age 5, 7 and 8.
I will kill the suspense now. The consequence that is working is that I give my children a job. If there is direct, defiant behavior, I calmly say, “I’m sorry. You owe me a job now.” They are learning not to argue because I will assign more than one job and life is over until their jobs are completed. Some of my favorite jobs include, organizing shoes in the front closet, wiping down the baseboards, cleaning out a drawer, wiping the front of the kitchen cabinets, putting all of the kid laundry away or vacuuming an area of the house. Now that the sun is beginning to shine, weeding a section of the yard is a great one too. To discover more job ideas, check out my Great list of Chores for Different Ages.
If you are curious, yes we expect our children to help out around the house. It is part of the responsibility of being in a family. This job given for a consequence is above and beyond what is normally expected of them.
So, what do you think? Will is one consequence idea work for you?