Following Through on Consequences
Lori’s daughter Kylie received a referral at school today. It’s Kylie’s 3rd referral of the year. Every referral has been because of the same issue. Kylie keeps teasing another student by making cruel comments about the other student’s appearance. The student makes fun of Kylie back and the two argue back and forth until they are almost physically fighting and need to be separated by the teacher.
Lori always comes to school and yells at Kylie in front of her teacher and peers. Lori threatens to take away Kylie’s phone and Netflix access. But, when they get home, Lori lets Kylie do whatever she wants.
- After so many times, Kylie knows her mom isn’t going to follow-through. She has little motivation to change her inappropriate behaviors.
- Lori knows she needs to do a better job following through on consequences, but she feels that Kylie will grow up eventually and figure it out.
Strategy: Understand your child’s behavior, don’t excuse it
- Consequences need to be impactful to change behavior. Don’t threaten to take away your kid’s phone. Take it away and clearly explain what you want them to do to get it back. Keep in mind what they need to do must be reasonable to their age and development.
- Kids don’t magically figure out how to be good. They’re taught to be good through consistent and fair parenting.
This strategy won’t work in every situation. But, it’s a good start for trying to figure out how to change a child’s behavior for the better.