Using choices and consequences is a great way to discipline kids since it keeps them from seeing you as the source of punishment by putting them in charge of their own behavior. It teaches them that the choices they make impact how they go through life. There are two kinds of consequences parents can set up for a choice scenario (i.e., “You can _______ or ________”), natural (“You can wear your jacket or not” equals a natural consequence of being cold if they left the jacket home) or logical (“You can wear the jacket or carry it” equals a forced consequence of doing the extra work of carrying the jacket). Natural consequences are best because the are consistent and follow from the behavior every time, like being cold, but they are not always safe. Forced consequences can keep kids safe while still making a direct link between choices and the results. However, it can sometimes be hard to find a consequence for some situations. This approach may help (remember to take developmental stage into account though).
The “Energy Drain” approach was
created by Dr. Charles Fay
to give adults a practical
way of creating logical consequences
that teach responsibility. Simply stated,
the child (or teen) is required to replace
energy “drained” from the adult by their
Step 1: Deliver a strong dose of sincere
This is so sad.
Step 2: Notify the youngster that their
misbehavior drained your energy.
Oh sweetie. When you lie to me (or
almost any other misbehavior) , it
drains energy right out of me.
Step 3: Ask how he or she plans to
replace the energy.
How are you planning to put that
Step 4: If you hear, “I don’t know,” offer
some payback options.
Some kids decide to do some of their
mom’s chores– How would that work?
Some kids decide to hire and pay for a
babysitter—so their parents can go out
and relax. How would that work?
Step 5: If the child completes the chores,
thank them and don’t lecture (lecturing just kills the lesson)
Thanks so much! I really appreciate it.
Step 6: If the child refuses or forgets,
don’t warn or remind.
Remember: ACTIONS SPEAK
LOUDER THAN WORDS!
Step 7: As a last resort, go on strike OR
sell a toy to pay for the drain.
What a bummer. I just don’t think I
have the energy to take you to Silly
Willie’s Fun Park this weekend.
What a bummer. You forgot to do
those chores. No problem. I sold your
Mutant Death Squad action figure to
pay for a babysitter tonight.