Thursday, May 29, 2008

Choices and Consequences

The loss of privileges and reaping consequences is usually an effective method of training. After all, life is a series of choices, and those choices come with blessings or consequences.

Effective consequences are those that make a child re-evaluate their behavioral choices. It’s got to hit their passions hard enough that they decide making a good choice is a much better alternative. When we choose consequences for our child’s wrong choices, we need to make sure the consequence matches the offense and is of a reasonable time-frame.

Just today I grounded one of my boys from his X-box. He was playing it when I discovered his closet was a disaster. He knows we (should) choose taking care of our responsibilities before we do anything for entertainment. He has lost the privilege for a week.

We’ve had quite a variety of consequences with raising seven kiddos.

I remember one time telling Erin her loss would be reading. Yep. It was her passion. She was the child who would answer a doorbell, her eyes never leaving the page she was reading.

Our children have had to miss youth church on Wednesday nights. They’ve missed birthday parties for friends. They’ve missed dance lessons, guitar lessons and drum lessons. They’ve had their instruments taken away.

They’ve gotten extra chore duty for not doing the job the right way, or for whining and complaining.

Yeah, we’re mean parents. We want our kids to get the message that obedience and good attitude is more important than the things they love most.

What are some effective consequences or loss of privileges you’ve used in your home or even remember as a kid?


Dusty said...

With our 5 year old, we've found that taking away a few of the toys he loves is usually effective. We'll usually take them away up to a week, depending on the offense. Our 3 year old is completely unmoved so far by taking away toys. Making her sit in a room without an audience is painful enough.

Kim Heinecke said...

My 8 year old loses privileges on his ripstick or skateboard. Both the 8 and 10 lose TV time.

Ali Ruhman said...

We've started this with Lily (3) and is working pretty well for the most part. Yesterday was the first day it didn't bother her at all that I put all the toys on her floor into a garbage sack and took them away. She was suppose to be cleaning her room and after numerous spankings I went in there with a big trash sack and told her that anything on the floor that she hadn't picked up was going in the trash. She said " Are you serious?" and without trying to smile at her comment I said "Yep". And she just said "OK" like it was no big deal.

So do you have any ideas for me on how to get her to clean her room? I know she can do it, because she has done it before. But yesterday she was being very defiant!

Robin Meadows said...

Ali, That's my little sweet grand, Lily! Just give her back all her toys and tell her Mimi will be over to clean her room. ; )

She wants to know if you're serious---so be serious. Hang on to those toys until she starts asking for them. Maybe you could give them back one at a time? As long as she keeps her room clean? Just a thought.

Also, she IS only 3! I used to play a game with you all....pick up all the red things. Now, all the clothes. Mostly, you're just going to have to make it a part of your day and do it with her.

It's a lifetime of training. Sometimes my room isn't very clean either!

memykidsteacher said...

This current series is SO good, Robin. I love it. And loathe it! Oh, the blessings and difficulties of our parenting jobs!

This one is HARD. Once my daughter was at a neighbor's birthday party when another mom came ... worried and upset that her daughter was there. The daughter was not supposed to go to the party after school as a consequence. And she promptly got her daughter and they left.

The bday grils' dad said something like "that mom shouldn't punish all of the girls by making her leave."

HUH? I couldn't believe he was using such bad parenting judgement!

But I do the SAME sort of thing every single day. Backing down.

Lack of consistency, and sticking to my "mean guns" is difficult. And especially with room cleaning. My m.o. is to get angry and end up doing it myself while having a fit. Horrible! It didn't work for ME while my mom was doing it either.

I just wish I had a child that I could ground from reading!

Thanks for your heart and your mentoring! And thanks for being "mean!" WE NEED IT!

Cindy Beall said...

When I was like 10 or so, the video game FROGGER was my life. I went down to the local Circle K every single day to play it.

One day I got in serious trouble with my dad and he told me I couldn't go play for two weeks.

Hell on earth, folks.

Here's to mean parents!!!

deleise said...

Robin, you are so cute trying to sabatoge Ali's discipline of Lily.

We take away computer time. We've taken away outside time, which sometimes turn into a punishment for me too.;)

I'm almost ashamed to admit this one, but when in a pinch I've said, well, we were going to Braums tonight, but I think that is going to have to wait now. Is that awful??? Bad mommy.

Abbi said...

Since the boys aren't using the Xbox, can I borrow the controller? ;)

From my estimation, all your kids have turned out GREAT! Keep up the good work, Mama! :)

Natalie Witcher said...

No sweets. Maybe I should try that on myself.

HomeSchool Mommy said...

We're big on not rewarding or punishing with food.
If we take away a toy, we always put it out of reach, but where it can be seen often. With Addyson, out of sight, out of mind, so it HAS to be where she sees it a lot throughout the day.
Sometimes you can be 'on your kids' side' and really sympathize with their desire not to clean their room...tell them you've got to go do a few things, but you really want to help them get their job done, too. If they'll hurry up and pick up all their toys, but leave five on the floor...anything they want to leave...and you'll pick it up for them when you come back from doing your chores.
We're also big on taking away a privilege only if it only affects her. For instance, I wouldn't take away her basketball practice because that would hurt the whole team. I want her to understand that when she makes a commitment, she has to stick with it...other people are depending on her.
I'm glad you said that the consequence needs to be relative to the 'crime'!!! I agree that's really important!

Jessica said...

Me & Erin; we're like this *holds up crossed fingers* I used to walk home from the library, my back pack full of books to read, and my nose stuck in one.

Taylor Hale said...

Kody and Jacob not being able to play guitar or drums for a WHOLE WEEK?? What kind of a mother are you?!?! ;) It's hard for me to understand sometimes why my mom takes things away from me. Then I snap back into reality. I'm kinda like, "Oh yeah, I screwed up." Keep up the good work!

Nikkie said...

We like natural consequences. Slept late? Guess you're late for school. Late for school? Too many of those equals detention/lower grades, etc....hmmm....might be beneficial to arise from thy bed on time. Maybe we'll try again tomorrow? Sometimes it takes awhile, but they figure it out on their own without me always in the mix. I am there, but not in the middle of the crisis. Works better for adolescents/teens than probably for little ones. This is useful for most situations, but I have found that there's no perfect way that works great every time. Fresh start every day....for me and them. His mercies are new every morning.

princessjes said...

You are MEAN!!!
I remember one time I was grounded from older brother and I went and snuck grapes! Guess that didn't work so well!
The worst punishment I had was not being able to go outside for the day, it was miserable!!! I'm tellin ya, you want to punish me--take away my phone & keep me stuck inside!! (no people=pain)

Donna said...

It's exhausting that's all I know. Consequences, training, teaching, whiny, complaining, educating, keeping them fed, clothed, clean, occupied, out of danger, on a routine. IT IS ALL EXHAUSTING!!!!!