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Establishing Effective Consequences

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In my last blog, I wrote about punishment and how it does not help teach our children anything of value. It only tends to increase the divide between us and them. However, punishment is very different from discipline, or establishing logical consequences. Consequences, when used properly after your child has made a choice (i.e., in behaving a certain way), can help to teach.

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Punishment Doesn’t Teach

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Punishment. A tricky subject. I find that, more and more, parents have a hard time wrapping their heads around punishment. Or rather, not punishing their child. I often get a lot of push-back from parents about how their child has to be taught a lesson. That their child will otherwise “get away with it.” At the end of the day, punishment does nothing to teach our children. It may humiliate, frustrate, shame, upset, or demoralize our child. Punishment may fuel a child’s anxiety. Or dampen their self-esteem. It may even make a child resentful. Rather than thinking about what they did wrong and how to make it better, they may instead use that time brewing in anger and resentment and even thinking about how to seek revenge. I find punishment puts a wedge between us and our children. And punishment certainly does nothing to teach. Well, perhaps other than it is ok to yell, hit, or coerce others when they do not behave the way we want them to.

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The Best Things in Life are Free

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This has been a topic I wanted to talk about for a long time. We can easily get so caught up in consumerism and keeping up with the Joneses. More and more, bigger and better. And I also see how many kids, even young kids, are addicted to their screen time. Which seems to cause so much disruption in the child’s life, and the family’s.

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