It’s awesome when your family has boundaries in the house. You need them. Every happy home does. But boundaries mean nothing if consequences are not in place. Can’t think of any effective consequences? Let’s chat about five creative consequences for kids no one told you.
Psst! One more disclaimer here for my mom friends. Consequences and boundaries are not the foundation of parenting. Unfortunately, the first few years of my parenting journey I thought they were. But 15 years later, I realize consequences and boundaries are uber important to this parenting thing, but the foundation? The foundation is love and winning your child’s heart. Ok, moving on.
If you haven’t set firm boundaries in your family, set them now. Boundariess for attitudes, cleanliness, respect and routines are all great places to start. But here’s another hint: never set a boundary that you are not fully ready to follow through with a consequence. It’s better not to create a boundary than create one and not present repercussions when kids choose to cross those boundaries.
5 Creative Consequences for Kids No One Told You
- Moments of silence. This is a simple, but effective consequence around our house. If a child speaks with an unkind tone or with unkind words, she is not allowed to speak for 10 minutes. After ten minutes is up, I give her a brief chat about using her words for kindness and then allow her to speak. This seems almost like a magic trick because it’s crazy effective!
- Practice makes progress! If a child does a household chore very sloppily (such as making her bed, sweeping the floor or folding laundry) she has to repeat the chore two more times. I kindly guide the child through the chore and show her the proper way to complete the chore. Then, she has to repeat the chore — twice. This is an important consequence in order for children to learn necessary life skills!
- Earlier bedtime. Before bedtime I do a “house walk.” For each item I find of a child that is misplaced, they have to head to bed five minutes earlier than normal. For instance, if I find three items that belong to Juli, then Juli has to go to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal. This keeps our house from becoming a scattered toy box or over-turn laundry hamper!
- No treats earned. I’m constantly rewarding my kids for good behavior. At the same time, I will use a special treat such as homemade ice cream, apple pie or pumpkin turnovers as a consequence if someone refuses to eat her dinner or displays an unhelpful attitude with dinner prep or clean-up. When I first saw my husband enforce this consequence, my heart melted for my daughter. I so wanted to enjoy some Dairy Queen ice cream with her! She had a very bad attitude that night and refused to eat dinner. However, when I saw her changed attitude towards family meal time the next day I knew this consequence was quite effective and my daughter was reaping many awesome character traits from learning that when she crosses a boundary, there will be a negative consequence. Today? She eats her food and almost always gets the treats!
- Disappearing toys. If children refuse to share toys or fight over them the toy is then removed from everyone’s possession. The toy can be returned when attitudes have improved. Even if this takes days or weeks, never return the toy until kids have learned that fighting over toys is never allowed.
What consequences are effective in your home? I’d love to hear about them! Join our All for Mommies group on Facebook to find encouragement and share your mommy stories! You can also join our newsletter and get loads of free mommy resources several times per year!