Natural consequences?(12 Posts)
Need some help with this one. Ok, so there are obvious natural consequences to some behaviour, eg if you don't wear a coat you get cold, if you don't eat your dinner you'll be hungry, but what about when the natural consequences affect me rather than my dcs? Like, if they fanny about in the morning it makes ME late, or if they damage things I have to pay for them (they don't get pocket money yet)? They are 5 and nearly 8 and I feel like I am losing their respect because they just don't care about my approval any more. I am generous with my time for them so I don't think it is that. Any advice?
If they damage your things then they. go without pudding, treats, miss an after school club activity as you have to replace the broken item.
If they damage something of yours, you take something off them that they find as personally special to them so they can see it's not nice to have things taken off you broken or otherwise. Then they can learn how much you have to work to get that item back. You'd have to go to work. They can make their bed every day for a week or something equivalent
If they damage something, the natural consequence could be that they cannot be trusted to spend time alone in certain parts of the house where items of value to you are kept.
If they mess around and make you late, a natural consequence could be that they have to get up earlier, have something that they don't like as much but is quicker to eat for breakfast, have to get dressed where you can supervise them or are not allowed the tv on.
You are basically finding a solution to the problem they have created or a way to prevent future problems and, if they don't like that solution, it is a natural consequence from which they will hopefully learn.
It isn't a sanction or tit-for-tat. It is "Well it's a shame you broke that because that means we won't be able to do x this week so we can use the money to pay for a new one" or "You've taken so long to get ready that I now can't do this job on the way to school so you'll have to come with me after school instead of going to the park". You're allowing their undesirable behaviour to have the negative impact on their lives rather than dishing out a punishment.
I just found this perfect example on a different thread.
This afternoon improved a little. He damaged something this morning doing something I had told him not to do. I took him to Sainsvurys with his money box and made him replace it.
Ds2 also took his money box and bought some Lego so I hope he got the message.
If there is no natural consequence then you create one.
'If you don't wear your coat you'll get cold'
'If you break something you will miss your TV time today/I'll take away your important toy etc'
Thanks guys. It's probably more general rudeness tbh. They do get ready but they only do so whilst being completely manic and silly and ignoring me when I say anything and laughing. It's really getting me down, it makes mornings so stressful and unpleasant. They are absolutely fine until after breakfast and then they just go mental. They don't have sugar or juice, it's not what they eat, it's like a switch and then they just flip. Feeling v close to tears right now because I can hear them going mental and there's nothing I can do to get them to stop. Maybe some will say that that's just how boys behave but when it's coupled with rudeness it's not acceptable. Help please
Make me late/your siblings late means missing something they enjoy, some after school activity.
Slightly harsh, but one of mine gets into a right tizzy if she's late, and my youngest doesn't care if he's late. He now strops about getting ready, but usually does it.
Or if they're late in the morning, well it obviously is because they are still tired so didn't go to bed early enough last night, so they'll have to be early tonight. . If I start saying that it's amazing how quickly they can be ready.
OP - no real advice but just offering sympathy as I have the exact same behaviour with my 5 and nearly 3 DSs. Maybe it is a boy thing. They can be completely calm and then DS1 will flip a switch and go nuts which either involves annoying DS2 so he screams (which he does very easily these days) or both of them charging about being crazy and fighting. Both DH and I have a very short fuse with it because we live in a flat and already had complaints about noise once. Makes for a very unpleasant time, particularly in the mornings but can really happen any time
How do you plan your mornings?
I would have everything possible done before breakfast, including having myself ready. Lunchboxes, bags packed, etc, the night before. Once breakfast is over I could then focus completely on them, keeping them in separate rooms, using incentives like races or sticker rewards to keep them focused.
For faffing in the morning, set a timer. If they are not ready, then
a) they leave the house as they are, dressed or not, or
b) make sure they have time for something they enjoy after getting ready (our 3yo son gets to watch Numtums before we go out to nursery, but only if there is time)
No cajoling or threats, just a time expectation.
There's always my Dad's old classic: 'You've got a choice...'. Never threats and never presented as sanctions, but they weren't always natural consquences either. So an example would be, 'you've got a choice, you can put your coat on and play for 5 more minutes or you can spend the next 5 minutes insert what is actually a sanction here'. It irritated us none end but it was also worked and made us feel respected, because we were making the 'choice'.
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