Providing positive discipline for children – Part 7: Consequences
Explore the purposes and principles of positive discipline. You will be able to generate several appropriate techniques for dealing with discipline problems involving children of varying ages.
It’s important to explore and have an understanding of the purposes and principles of positive discipline in young children. Doing so will enable you to generate several appropriate techniques for dealing with discipline problems involving children of varying ages.
Always allow children to learn from their mistakes. Do not bail then out. Making mistakes is normal in child development – it’s how we learn. If children are bailed out, they only learn that someone else will always be there to take care of our problems. They never learn to problem solve on their own and therefore, do not grow. As parents, it is our job to teach our children to become self sufficient on their own for when they do move out into the real world. We all need a little extra help occasionally, but for the most part, children learn by experiencing natural consequences of the choices they make.
Make sure the consequences “fit the crime.” Depending on the age, the consequences can very. For the very young, consequences should be right away and should be brief. In time out (break time), the child should have a break time of one minute to every age of life. An example would be a 4 year old, would take a 4-minute break. With the older child, it helps to be calm when we giving the consequence. It does not make sense to yell out “You are grounded for two weeks,” when we know that we will not follow through with the consequence. When we do not follow through, it also teaches them that next time, we probably won’t follow through again. Take your time and make sure the consequence fits the behavior.
Other Michigan State University Extension news articles in this series:
- Providing positive discipline for children – Part 1: Discipline and distractions
- Providing positive discipline for children – Part 2: Tantrums, whining and positive reinforcement