Yesterday we talked about punishments today we will dig a little deeper into consequences. Consequences teach children how to solve problems and show children that mistakes are opportunities to learn. Consequences rely on reflection and personal responsibility. Consequences provide intrinsic motivation to use or learn new skills consequences and focuses on what to do instead.
So I’ll take the same examples from yesterday and show you how to take a punishment and change it to a consequence.
Child spills their milk. Instead of yelling at them and shaming them for spilling, we remind them to keep two hands on the milk. The consequence is that they clean up their own mess. ￼￼ ￼￼￼In this case we are relying on personal responsibility.
Instead of saying when a child messes up you’re such a bad kid you make me so angry, you say oops you messed up what do you think we could have done better ? This shows children the mistakes are an opportunity to learn and not an opportunity to be punished.
Instead of children doing things to make us proud we want them to do something because it’s the right thing to do. Helping them develop intrinsic motivation gives us confidence than that when they are not with us they will make the right choice.
Instead of focusing on the all the “do not… do not run… do not hit your brother… do not run in the house..” we focus on what to do. Walk through the hallway. If you are angry your brother tell him. Use kind words.
I can give you an example from today that’s really hard for me￼￼￼￼￼￼. This morning we all made a cake together.
That was exciting. We talked about the fact that after naptime we would eat it. One of our Littles decided that naptime was going to be her play time. I get it, it’s hard sometimes to be still and be quiet. Two times I said what to do – lay on your mat and be quiet. Put your hands beside you and be still.￼￼
Conscious discipline is not without consequences. At this point I said ” if you do not lay still and be quiet you will not get cake after nap. ”
As it came out of my mouth I realized that was probably a tough choice. But I honestly figured it would work. It did not. At this point I had to determine whether I was going to follow through with my consequence or give in to the meltdown which was worse than the playing during rest time. I absolutely think I could’ve made a better consequence but off the top of my head that is what came out. Therefore, I have to follow through. ￼￼￼￼Honestly, it feels more like a punishment. :/ I do feel this consequence/ punishment was better than degrading or scaring her into compliance by using a harsh tone. She knows she is safe. She knows she is loved. I also need her to know when I say “no more.” It literally means .. no more. I don’t look forward to snack time. 🙁
We are all learning and growing together in this journey to raise kind little people that can function and thrive in society. I feel like today I got my punishments and consequences confused. I’ll try again tomorrow.