Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Logical vs. Natural Consequences By: Grandma Jeddah

Logical consequences can occur as a result of your child exercising choices.   The difference between logical and natural consequences is that natural consequences naturally occur. A natural consequence might occur when yourchild sticks his finger into the hot peach cobbler you just pulled out of the oven and told him not to touch.  No need to discipline here.  He’s learned his lesson.
 Logical consequences, on the other hand, involve intervention by the parent.  Some natural consequences are too dangerous for a parent to allow to take place.  For instance, if your child chooses to play with matches or fire, you certainly would not want him to learn that he might catch on fire or burn the house down as a natural consequence.  You might choose to not allow him to cook for a specified period as a logical consequence, however.  “I can see you’re not ready to use fire in a safe way right now.  You won’t be able to use the kitchen for three days.”

If Jamal is playing ball in the house again, Mom might say, “Jamal I need you to stop playing ball in the house because you might break the lamp. You can either play outside or I can put your ball away for later.”  If Jamal plays with the ball again in the house, you know Jamal has decided for you to take the ball.  As a logical consequence, Mom takes the ball away for an hour.

Several points to keep in mind when using logical consequences:
Ø  Logical consequences are intended to help your child learn for the future. They may not always be necessary.  Explaining to your child how his behavior is unsuitable and attempting to seek a solution through discussion may lead to a more productive outcome.

Ø  Involving your child in solving the problem can often be quite effective.  When your child helps decide what the rules are in your home and what the penalties are for breaking the rules, they are more willing to comply and be cooperative.

Ø  When applying logical consequences, resist the urge to shame or humiliate your child.  This is counterproductive to getting your child to comply.  It can make him vengeful and have little desire to please you.

Ø  Be respectful and gentle when allotting the logical consequence. Speak in a calm voice showing you care.

Ø  Make sure the consequence fits the offense in intensity.  If your son went outside without cleaning his room, you wouldn’t make him clean the entire house.  You might have him clean his room and not allow him to go back outside for 15 minutes after cleaning. 

Ø  Try to ensure the consequence relates to the misbehaver whenever possible. If your daughter hits her younger sibling, cleaning the house would not relate to the behavior.  Instead, you might want to have her let the little one play with her toys for a period of time.

Ø  Make the consequence relate to the current situation.  Don’t rehash old issues related to the current problem. If your child wants to go to the store with you but last time she had a tantrum. You wouldn’t say, “Last time you went to the store with me you fell on the floor when I wouldn’t buy you the car you wanted.”  You could say, “You can go with me if you control your anger when I don’t buy you the things you want.”  Your child needs to know she can make mistakes, without being a complete failure.  She can learn from her errors and improve her behavior in the future.  You are training and teaching your child. Patience and self control are traits that are learned. Offer your child the opportunity to grow and learn from her mistakes

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-Book: Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child—And Keep Your Peace of Mind While at It.  To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at http://www.grandmajeddah.com/

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