Help: Threats or Consequences??

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I need your help.

It’s week three of the summer (seriously?? just the third week?!) and I’m out of consequences for misbehaving kids. I prefer consequences that fit the crime or at the very least, that take effect immediately.

As of late, I’ve lapsed into staring blankly at the misbehaving child, wracking my brain for a punishment. I come up with nothing and out pops some lame threat like, “Stop doing that or we won’t go to the pool next week.” It stops the behavior momentarily. It doesn’t do anything to change the behavior.

And worse, I forget. Or the kids can “earn” the lost privilege back.
(Of course, they lose it and earn it about seventeen times in the course of the week.) 
It’s pretty pathetic.
It’s also pretty ineffective.

So, I ask you:
What’s your preferred punishment for older and younger children?
What’s the most creative punishment you’ve given?

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4 Responses to Help: Threats or Consequences??

  1. Lynn says:

    Well, I sent you my marble and chore jar ideas. But honestly, I don’t know if it is the age or what, but I have had little results from any kind of consequences. I usually just try to redirect them to something else, and issue high praise when I catch them playing well/peacefully. Looking forward to reading other responses.

  2. Wendy T says:

    One of the most important parenting rules I’ve tried to follow is “Don’t lie.” Don’t ever say “you’ll be grounded for a month” or anything else you are not prepared to follow through on.

    If you need to, tell the child to walk away – that you need some time to regroup before you say something you will regret. This is often true, and models behavior you would like.

    Depending on the age of the child, 1-2-3 Magic is an effective program for changing behavior. Are you familiar with the program?

    Basically it goes like this:
    “Sally, talk nicely to your sister from now on. No calling mean names as it’s hurtful. That’s 1.” (You’ve told her what you want, explained why and given the first warning.)

    From that point on, you are only allowed to say “That’s 2.” NOTHING more. If the child succeeds in engaging you to say more (and they will likely try – at least initially, they have won). The next and last time say “That’s 3. Take 5.” And nothing more! If child refuses, attempts to engage with you, etc., simply pick child up and take to room while not saying a word. If they try to get out of the room, stand on other side holding door knob and not saying a word.

    The point is to explain what you want and why. Say little else so as to not debate it from there. And follow through. Short and sweet.

    I pretty much guarantee you will soon only get to “That’s 2″ and then “That’s 1″ because they will know you mean business. And you keep some of your sanity by not engaging.

  3. Christa says:

    My older kids are 7 and 9 and we just use 1,2,3 magic (I highly recommend the book). The kids know when I get to 3 they have a time out or loose whatever they are currently playing with (depends on the situation). Our oldest has Asperger’s (a high functioning form of autism) and this works really well with him. Once they’ve served their time out (usually 5 minutes, 10 if they complain about it) we can calmly talk about what they did and they can apologize. It doesn’t always go so smoothly but we try to be consistent about it. As for taking away things, I usually end up putting them up high so the kids can’t get them and I forget about them. My favorite spot is above the kitchen cabinets, they are out of view there too. It’s tough, and especially tough in the summer when all the kids are home. Good luck, I am sure you are doing better than you think.

  4. Hallie G says:

    I love your blog! You sound so much like me and what I struggle with. I may have to try the 1-2-3 Magic that was recommended. I just know that if I don’t figure something out, I may have to commit myself before summer is over. lol

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