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Natural Consequences: How to Stop Punishing Your Kids | The Family Alchemists

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Traditional punishment can create power plays and low self-esteem for children and fail to pass on the valuable lessons our children need in a fast-paced world.

For most of us, we’ve been raised with the belief that parents need to force and demand certain behaviors from their children in order to get them to do what they are asked and learn how to “behave.” There is a deep system passed on, a FEAR of what our children will “turn out like..” if we don’t force them to behave and do what we tell them.
It all creates such a panic in our parenting, creating a need to see results and a rush to do things “right.”

As an organic solution for peaceful focused parents, the term “natural consequence” has unfolded, but, in the need for results or perhaps the natural craving to see it to believe it, even natural consequence has become incredibly complicated, with many parents asking, “But what kind of natural consequence can I give for that behavior?” Which kind of defeats the intention.

What are Natural Consequences?

Sparkle splash of water

Picture by Mohan Murugesan on Unsplash.

Well, simply put, every stone creates a ripple when thrown in a pond. Every action has a result. Everything has a consequence.

Life is a wonderful parade of action and reaction… we move forward understanding that what we do creates a next step, a new stage.

This life of cause and effect is not just for our children, but for all of us, which is why you can’t give natural consequences, they happen naturally.

So for a child…

If they hit their friend, that friend won’t want to play anymore.

If they lie, no one will trust them.

If they steal, people won’t trust them… and they feel horrible if they are caught by store owners.

If they are rough with the cat, they get scratched and the cat won’t want to be with them.

If they throw things, things break.

If they don’t eat their vegetables, their body won’t have the tools to keep them well.

If they don’t brush their teeth, they may have tooth decay.

On, and on, and on.

The beautiful element of all of this is we’re not standing there as a dictator in charge, or a manic controller who’s stopping our kids from exploring.

The fear of how our kids will turn out will subside, and rather we’re standing there as the supporter and experienced human being, offering our insights so our kids don’t get hurt or lose an opportunity for connection with others.

So, how do you find the Natural Consequences in your child’s behavior?

Ask yourself WHY?

WHY do you want them to stop what they are doing?

Why is it a bad idea to continue?

Why… why… why?

Also, give yourself some answers to quickly reaffirm that the why isn’t based in your ROLE as a parent… such as…

“Why? Well because I’m the mom!”

or “Why? Because I said so and they should listen to me!”

or “Why? Because they are embarrassing me…”

That’s not going to get you anywhere.

Rather…

Why? Because they could get hurt. Because kids won’t want to play with them. It makes the house feel sad and stressed…

And then, speak your truth.

A powerful thing happens when you give way to the WHY and develop the tool of acknowledging Natural Consequences.

Life starts to slow down.

Behavior doesn’t have to be something to have to FIX or control, rather it becomes a spark for learning and growth.

You start pointing out some natural consequences and discussing how to create a happy path, and your children realize after a while that everything does have a consequence and they can use them for good just as much as bad.

Because when we are kind, the natural consequences is that people like to connect with us.

When we are playful, we have more fun.

When we eat those vegetables we don’t have to take medicine or be sick.

When we are nice to the cat, we get cat cuddles…

It takes some time. I won’t tell you this is a quick result process.

A young child can need to have “owie” mentioned for every hurt they have, you have, or the neighbor has, before they get that you are telling them the natural consequence of playing with something sharp can hurt them. It doesn’t mean you are permissive and let them figure out how it hurts them… rather you just keep telling them it could and move them on to something that won’t.

As the slow realization of natural consequence starts to resonate with your children… something else will start to make sense also.

That you aren’t working against their fun… that you are on the same team, that listening to your suggestions works.

Take your child to a puddle the next time it rains and throw a pebble in. Watch the ripples. Point out to them there and then that life is the same. Everything we do creates ripples in the world.
What kind of ripples do they want to create?

What kind of ripples do we all want to create?

Read more about Natural Consequences: Parenting with Natural Consequences: Work With the Why

FREE: How To Finally Get Your Child To Listen And Act By Understanding Their Development And Getting The Best Behavior Out Of Them… Even In The Hour Before Bedtime. Yes, Really.

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