Thursday, January 22, 2015

Facing the Consequences

Some people may not feel comfortable with Attachment Parenting or Gentle Parenting. On the other end of the parenting spectrum, but still in the authoritative camp, is what I'm going to call consequence-based parenting. Parents make the rules for their children, and if the child disobeys the rules, they have a consequence. While it seems simple, there are programs out there for parents that will explain this in more detail, such as 1-2-3 Magic and Love and Logic. Christian parents will find this type of discipline familiar, as Focus on the Family has been teaching this discipline style at least since I was a kid.

While this style may seem antithetical to gentle parenting, it is not about being harsh and punitive. In fact, doling out the consequences calmly is the recommended way in each of these systems. It actually has a lot in common with gentle parenting in that it recognizes that parents need to control their own emotions, understand their child's behaviour as well expect age-appropriate behaviour and set age-appropriate limits. They both also encourages relationship building as an important aspect of discipline -hence the "love" in love and logic.

Before a misbehaviour:
  1. Explain your expectations to your child
  2. Discuss consequences with your child
  3. Praise your child for positive behaviour
  4. Make sure expectations and consequences are age-appropriate
  5. Consider what the "natural" consequences will be
  6. Offer choices to avoid power-struggles and build self-confidence
  7. Remember that you are letting your child fail now so they can succeed later
  8. Parents should be a united front
During a misbehaviour
  1. Calm yourself down
  2. Give clear, brief direction
  3. Follow through so your kids will learn that you mean what you say
Many parents like this parenting style because it offers a system, especially if they find themselves giving "just one more chance." It teaches not just effective consequences but how to give consequences effectively. It also gives parents a gentler approach to parenting without going full into gentle parenting. If you find yourself yelling or nagging a lot, this might be a parenting style that will work for you.

For further thought:

How does this parenting style compare to compare to how you were raised? In what ways do you wish you had been more or less raised like this?

What appeals to you about this parenting style?

What makes you uncomfortable with this parenting style?

For further reading:

Parenting Healthy Children: Parenting with Love and Logical Consequences
Empowering Parents: Child Discipline: Consequences and Effective Parenting
Lovely Chaos: Parenting 101: Love and Logic with 123 Magic

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