Finding proper consequences for kids is challenging enough, but what if you think of the perfect consequence and your child doesn’t care to listen anyway? Here are some tips to help you get out of this difficult situation.
This is a method that works for me and my family, and I’m so excited to share it with you.
Is there anything more infuriating than trying to discipline a child who doesn’t care about the rules you set and the consequences that follow?
The good news is, there are a few different reasons that children do not respect the consequence, and I’ll share with you the one thing that works way better than harsh punishment that my friends and frustrated parents have had great luck with as well with their child’s behaviour.
See also: 17 Positive Discipline Tools You Need
Creating Consequences That Work (The One Tip You NEED To Hear)
Coming up with effective consequences in the heat of the moment mid power struggle is a pretty standard parenting thing that we all do but it’s not the best way to encourage good behavior.
When you use use consequences in heated moments such as ” That’s it! We are not going to the beach today.” Do you really mean it?
Are you going to stop the whole family from enjoying the day because one child had bad behavior for one minute..? Probably not, and your child knows about your empty threats.
And your kids know it.
If you ask your child to do something such as pick up the garbage around the house, and they don’t do it you can do one of three things:
- Get mad
- Do it yourself
- Letting your child come up with the consequence
Believe it or not, option 3 actually works.
Take a deep breath a ask your child what you think should happen if they choose to not pick up garbage around the house, what should be the best consequences of their actions?
Your child will likely come up with a consequence such as “no screen time or cell phone before dinner if I don’t pick up the garbage by 11am.”
So there you have it, your child has until 11 am to pick up the garbage around the house and if they don’t do it, they know exactly what will happen. This is a great way for your child to not get upset with you for setting up yet more negative consequences.
The likelihood of your child not completing the task is extremely small now because you bet your buttons they want some of that TV time before dinner. This is the best way for your child to start making better choices and it usually works the first time you use this technique!
Why Does This Work?
It works because it is memorable, created by the child themselves and it’s very clear. There are no huge punishments, and you’ll notice a behavior change in your child.
Your child created the type of consequence, so they remember what it is. They worked hard to come up with the consequence so they will respect it and know exactly what to expect if the rule is broken. It’s all very clear and this is why it is such an effective way to get the consequence hating child to respect and listen.
You can give your child a hand to come up with consequences that reflect the child’s behavior, they don’t need to do it all on their own, especially if they are pretty young, and you have to agree to the consequence too.
The consequence still has to fit the crime, so make sure your child comes up with something suitable and stay away from harsh consequences. Remember to allow your child a second chance if they made a mistake and forgot their consequence, next time though, follow through for sure.
PS: This is an easy chore system if you have children who like to whine and complain and try to get out of their chores constantly.
7 Reasons The Consequence Is Not Working
Is It A Punishment Or A Consequence?
When you’ve set up a consequence for your child and they don’t seem to care about it, ask yourself if you’ve set up punishment or a consequence.
There is a difference.
Consequences help children learn from their mistakes while punishment addresses past behavior and makes the child work OFF something they did wrong.
So if you’re asking yourself why your child doesn’t care about the consequence you set, perhaps it was a punishment and perhaps that punishment has been used too many times for their negative behaviors in the past and is ineffective.
Is The Consequence Too Simple?
There is a chance that your child no longer cares about the consequence because it doesn’t make a difference to them at all if you follow through or not.
An effective consequence should be something that children will understand through and through. If you set up a rule in the house such as brushing teeth before going to sleep, and your child doesn’t follow through, the consequence should be super related to the incident.
For example, you can let your child know what happens to children who do not brush their teeth properly on a daily basis can develop cavities that do need to get fixed by a dentist in the future. Dental visits should be a nice experience and we don’t want to scare our kids about going to the dentist, but you can still let them know that these kinds of things are not that pleasant and can be avoided if teeth are brushed regularly.
Is The Discipline Too Harsh?
Sometimes parents get a little angry, it’s normal to get heated when your kids aren’t listening.
Banning the video games for a whole month because you saw your child jumping on the couch which is a no-no in the home, is a little harsh, don’t you agree? Some situations are better suited for positive reinforcement rather than positive consequences.
The punishment has to fit the crime.
If you catch your child jumping on the couch and they aren’t allowed to do so, then perhaps a better consequence should be to lose whatever they are doing while they are doing the jumping.
Is The Consequence Related To The Crime
The first thing you need to make sure is that the consequence needs to be related to the “crime” and should be teaching your child a lesson.
Consequences are not about using negative punishment but are all about positive discipline and learning to do the right thing.
For example, if your child continues to speak in a disrespectful tone, a punishment would sound like; “Don’t you dare speak to me like that, no more seeing your friends for two weeks!”
A consequence would be “I really do not appreciate you talking to me like that. If you would like to see your friends this weekend, please speak to me respectfully.” Alter your words for different age group settings, and use appropriate language when speaking to your child, even when they don’t use nice language with you during their temper tantrums and teen years.
Is My Child Too Angry To Care
In the heat of the moment, a child may just be too angry to understand the consequence, and a lot of parents think that the child is simply not listening.
Give your little one some space, and let the consequence sink in. “Making” them care about the consequence isn’t good for anyone, so just let it be, and don’t forget about the consequence you set. Remember to follow through with set consequences.
Is The Consequence Right For That Child
All children are very different and what works for one child may not work for another.
When setting up a consequence, ensure that you are tailoring the consequence to the personality of the child who needs it because the result of your child and your neighbor will be different.
Maybe They Do Care…
Some children may put on the “I don’t care act” but they really do care about the consequence.
Make sure you keep following through and eventually things will get better. Don’t give up!
Types of Consequences For Kids
I’m a big fan of natural consequences because they work so well with the whole authoritative parenting style that I follow and lead to more positive behaviors and good decisions from my kids.
in my opinion the better approach to disciplining children is by giving positive attention and being a good role model. For me, those things have given us positive results and I learned most of these tips from parenting coach Amy McGrady!
Free Resource For You
I’ve created a free pdf just for you! If you are struggling with gentle parenting with your kids this PDF will help you find one that will work for your family.
This free pdf can show you:
- The pillars of gentle parenting
- Example conversations you can have with kids
- Example consequences you can use
- Family activity ideas for connection