Jean Tracy

Article Summary:

When disciplining your child make the punishment fit the crime with logical consequences.

Discipline Your Child with Logical Consequences

When you were disciplining your child, have you ever given an illogical consequence? I have. I learned how my kids tricked me too. Don't make this mistake.

Being a working parent, like many of you, I was so busy. Although I loved gardening, I never had enough time to weed the rain ditch in front of our home. When my boys misbehaved I thought I had the perfect solution. "Go out to the ditch and pull a bucket of weeds," I'd order.

I never noticed how quickly they pulled the weeds. I did wonder why the ditches never looked weeded. Since I was usually working in the kitchen, the boys would open the front door and yell up the stairs, "Here are the weeds, Mom." I'd look down the stairs and nod, "OK." Then I'd go about fixing dinner and they'd go off to play.

Now they're adults. They recently told me their "dirty" little secret. They loaded their buckets with dirt and weeds from our compost pile. They also pulled out a few fresh weeds to top off their buckets. They knew I'd never come downstairs to check their buckets. They knew I'd never guess their "dirty" little secret.

So what did I do wrong? You got it. Two things:

  • I didn't check their work closely.
  • My consequence for their misbehavior suited me but it didn't suit their conduct.
My consequence wasn't logical. What can you do to avoid my mistake?

Make sure your consequences are logical. How? Make sure they fit the misbehavior.

Here are 5 examples:

  • If your children fight over the TV controller - no TV.
  • If your child punches a hole in the wall - make him/her fix it.
  • If your child leaves toys around - take those toys away for a week.
  • If your child calls his sister bad names - require him or her to apologize nicely.
  • If your child won't eat the dinner you fix - let your child go to bed hungry.

If you think before you speak, you'll be creating consequences that fit the misbehavior. You won't be making my mistake and you will be helping your children grow. You'll be building character too.

Jean Tracy - "Granny Jean" - graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Education. She taught elementary school in Washington, California, and Connecticut. Inspired by her desire to help the problem children in her classes, Jean returned to graduate school. She earned a Master's Degree in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

Upon returning to her home in Washington State, Jean worked as a probation officer and then developed a private counseling practice with families and children that spanned twenty-two years. During this time she achieved a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work.

For more information visit Granny Jean's website, www.kidsdiscuss.com.

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