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I am all for "natural consquences" but someone tell me what you do when they don't exist.

(15 Posts)
cantnookian Fri 15-Mar-13 16:35:48

I have been having challenges with my 5 yr old. Lots of squabbling with sister and since she has had a later bedtime and time with me and dad in her own that has been a lot better.

But she is pushing all the time. My default is to shout and I am ashamed to say I have done it a lot at times and it has made things worse.

I am doing a lot better and staying calm and want to use natural consquences of behaviour but here are two examples where I can see no natural consquence and hence see only resorting to punishment, to which she says " I don't care"

so two examples: this morning we are ready for preschool and the children do not need to be there until 9 am but I need to go to my classes and hence what to get out of the house. 5 yr old is ready and. then goes under her bed. So, it is not important to her whether we leave the house on time or not, but it is to me. So someone tell me what you do?

2nd example: upstairs in her room and cut a new pair of tights of her sister. I was cross and told her I was angry, but did not shout. But what else can you do that does not involve withdrawal of a privilege? i have said she cannot do any games on the computer this weekend (normally both have 10 mins most days but I have said only 4 yr old will get).

I am so pi8ed off with rewards and punishments, I am so fed up with it but do not know how to get off the treadmill when you face behaviour that has no natural consequence for the child.

any help appreciated.

FireOverBabylon Fri 15-Mar-13 16:45:11

In both of these cases, her sibling (sister?) has been on the sharp end. How old is her sister - is she old enough to know that her sister has cut her tights up, for example?

cantnookian Fri 15-Mar-13 16:45:54

I have just found a natural consequence of the scissors. I have said she cannot have the scissors unsupervised and hence she must wait for me when she wishes to cut something out.

so that is one solved, now the one under the bed?

cantnookian Fri 15-Mar-13 16:46:45

she is almost 4 but just said Her sister did it on purpose.

givemeaclue Fri 15-Mar-13 16:48:00

Put stuff under bed so no room there to hide? Storage boxes

Bramshott Fri 15-Mar-13 16:51:22

I think in the first instance you just have to haul her out if you have to go - so the natural consequence is that instead of a nice morning chat, she gets a cross shouty mummy because she's chosen to make everyone late.

BeaandMe Fri 15-Mar-13 21:09:51

No ideas but watching with interest as I'm also trying to do this and am failing to come up with natural consequences for loads of scenarios with my 6 yo ds. Dh would agree with Bramshott, but I'm not sure.

foolonthehill Fri 15-Mar-13 21:16:31

I like the idea of natural consequences too. but there are lots of examples where the natural consequences don't bother a child or where they are too serious to allow it to happen (eg teenager leaving hair straighteners on might cause house-fire).

What is the matter of rewards and punishments so long as they are instant and proportionate? isn't that how the rest of the world works (i work for money, personal growth/satisfaction and to serve others).

I would say a consistent use of boundaries and consequences with rewards and punishments, whilst exhausting at first reaps benefits later.

ellesabe Sat 16-Mar-13 11:40:10

For me the tights would have a financial consequence. You have to spend money on new tights for dd, therefore cannot afford to take dd to cinema (or whatever other treat may be in the pipeline).

Of maybe a timely consequence instead? You have to go shopping for new tights therefore don't have time to bake (or whatever) with dd.

The upshot of this is also that poor dd2 gets nice new tights and dd1 gets none.

Notmyidea Sat 16-Mar-13 13:59:30

If mummy can't get to work on time she'll lose her job and there will be no money for holidays/treats/after school activities."

foolonthehill Sat 16-Mar-13 14:07:31

But these natural consequences (house, holiday, work, food etc) are meaningless to young children. you can explain them but they can't really appreciate the direct cause....they are too distant from day to day experience.

Catsdontcare Sat 16-Mar-13 14:11:46

DS went through a stage of pissing around at bed time so his consequence was going to bed at the same time as his little brother the following night. I would use that when she is messing you around in the morning.

Notmyidea Sat 16-Mar-13 14:17:29

a four and five year old are ready to start learning imho. The other thing I've done when a child is making me late is pretend to phone their teacher/my manager to say I'm dreadfully sorry but I can't come in today because dd is being very naughty and not doing x, y or z.

ReallyTired Sat 16-Mar-13 15:34:01

Some natural consequences are just too nasty to allow to happen or a five year olds cannot understand the implications. This is a fanastic book

how to talk so the kids will listen

I think that in the morning you need to get up earlier and have timers to get dressed and have breakfast. A complete ban on TV/Computer/ tablets/ IPads until the chidlren are washed and dressed is essential. Natural consequence of not eating breakfast within 20 minutes is to be hungry. Natural consequence of not getting washed and dressed in 20 minutes is to be woken up earlier the next morning.

With the sissor incident you could quietly say that you feel disappointed that your daughter chose to cut up her sister's tights and get her to think what she can do to put it right. I agree that putting sissors out of reach is necessary, but it does not solve the problem of OP other dd having her tights cut up. If your five year old has any pocket or birthday or christmas money she should pay for a new set of tights. Or alternatively your five year old should do extra jobs around the house to earn the money for the tights.

ReallyTired Sat 16-Mar-13 15:34:37

Or prehaps your five year old could forgo a treat to pay for new tights.

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