It’s awesome when your family has boundaries in the house.
They help tame the “out of control kid”…
They help create security in kids.
They create a home where life is predictable (but there’s still room for being silly!)
But boundaries mean nothing if consequences are not in place.
Can’t think of any effective consequences that are creative?
Let’s chat about seven creative consequences for kids no one told you.
And they actually work!
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. (We even set them for our marriage!)
Boundaries 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 rules than create ones and not give consequences when kids break the rules.
And the consequences?
They need to be doable..;0)
What do I mean by that?
When we’re stressed or frustrated as parents we might resort to , “No soccer game tonight!” or “No movies for a month!”
And you know you’re most likely not going to stick to those consequences.
Consequences Your Kids Need Now
Because they’re over-the-top.
And later you’ll have more compassion and realize the consequences didn’t fit the offense.
But if you don’t follow through with the consequences, you’ll begin teaching your kids that rules and boundaries don’t really matter.
And they’ll continue to break the rules and develop negative behavior.
But that can stop today when you start using these super simple consequences that kids need!
7 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 words, she is not allowed to speak for 10 minutes.
After ten minutes of silence is completed, I give a brief chat about using words for kindness and then the moments of silence are over.
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 the 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 an over-turned laundry hamper!
Our kids actually do a “house swoop!” as well!
This makes cleaning a part of their daily routine and the printables below keep them motivated and focused!
We have a toddler, tween and teen version you can download and print!
- 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 soft serve ice cream with her!
She had a very bad attitude that night and refused to eat dinner.
However, when I saw her changed attitude the next day I knew this consequence was quite effective!
- 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.
- Letters of appreciation. If your child is old enough to write, have her write a letter of appreciation (Or thank you notes) to the family members she has been unkind to.
If she can’t write entire sentences, have her draw words and pictures. Writing out emotions and seeing why she should love her siblings or friends is a great visual reminder of why she should always be kind!
- Removal from the fun. Many acts of disobedience or attitude issues happen in the midst of a crazy-fun activity! Use this opportunity as a super simple, but creative way to let your child know that hitting other kids, being disobedient to parents or teachers and using unkind words is not allowed.
Remove your child from the fun for 10 or 15 minutes and explain to them that if they act properly, they can have fun too!
What consequences are effective in your home?
I’d love to hear about them!
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