Effective Consequences for Misbehavior: 5 Tips for Success



You cringe because the sound of your daughter’s door shakes your complete home. For the third time this week, she’s come dwelling late from college with out calling first, and tonight, you determined to confront her about it.

Of course, issues didn’t finish effectively…

After a protracted (and loud) argument, she’s now brooding in her room when you march over to the pc. You’re uninterested in the fixed combating, disrespect, and door slams. You’ve had sufficient and are prepared to look for assist.

So you hop on-line and sort in the one query you may consider:

What’s the very best punishment for my baby’s disrespect and defiance? 

Oh, pricey pal, if you happen to solely knew how typically that query comes up in my line of labor! And I’d love to provide you a plain and easy, simple reply. 

But I can’t.

Because you’re asking the fallacious query. 

Whether they’re taking my FREE ONLINE PARENTING CLASS or trying for personal teaching help, I’ve observed one thing in widespread amongst most of the parents first coming to me for assist. 

They wish to know what punishments will work for their kids’ misbehavior. That’s after I problem them to shift their mindset–as a result of punishments don’t work.

But–when the correct groundwork has been laid–penalties may be!

First, Can This Be Solved Another Way?

Before we dive into these 5 suggestions for efficient penalties, I need you first to ask your self: Can this be solved one other means?

Although penalties are crucial infrequently, there are all the time different parenting instruments you may implement beforehand which are simpler.

For instance, one of the crucial highly effective instruments we train at Positive Parenting Solutions is what’s often called MIND, BODY AND SOUL TIME® connection. (MBST). This instrument, although easy, packs a strong punch and is among the most surefire methods to chop down on energy struggles and misbehavior.

All you need to do is commit 10-Quarter-hour every day to enjoying along with your baby (one-on-one). That’s proper–enjoying

Let them select the exercise, put away all distractions, and pour into all of them the optimistic consideration they so desperately crave. Behavior nearly magically improves by assembly their want for optimistic consideration and emotional connection. 

Or, in case your baby is older and enjoying isn’t their factor, you may nonetheless spend time doing one thing collectively they get pleasure from. Perhaps you foster their love of artwork by signing up for lessons at an area pottery studio or apply your images expertise collectively on a nature stroll. 

It’s not necessary what you do–simply that you just do one thing collectively.

Pro Tip: Did you realize we’ve 37 easy-to-implement parenting instruments supplied in The 7-Step Parenting Success System? Consequences are one instrument — however not your solely choice.

It’s additionally necessary to do not forget that your baby’s good conduct is a collaborative effort. You must work with them…taking time to coach them within the optimistic behaviors you wish to see and work with them on options when points come up.

Your 3-year-old received’t understand it’s fallacious to paint on the partitions till you train her to not and provides her different shops for her inventive genius, simply as your 16-year-old received’t know learn how to deal with saying “no” to see stress except you practice him upfront learn how to get out of inauspicious conditions.

The relationship you’ve got along with your baby and the conduct you see in your baby is a two-way road with loads of give and take. Ensure they’ve the correct coaching and loving help they want first, and see what you get again.

Helpful Hint: Positive Parenting Solutions Members, make sure you take a look at the Collaborative Problem Solving strategy by Dr. Ross Green. You’ll discover it in The Explosive Child Expert Series masterclass within the 7-Step Parenting Success System.  

Of course, these are just some examples of the many instruments that may and ought to be used earlier than penalties. In reality, we provide 37 easy-to-implement parenting instruments in The 7-Step Parenting Success System

With so many sensible assets available for parents, the instances you’ll want to make use of penalties ought to be few and much between.

Now that we’ve lined a number of choices you should use earlier than penalties, let’s transfer on to these useful suggestions…

your child's good behavior is a collaborative effort

Tip #1: Avoid Punishment

If this primary tip sounds unattainable, I get it. It nearly feels second nature for parents to leap to punishments when their child acts out of line.

But, many parents misunderstand that punishments are NOT the identical as penalties. 

So what’s the distinction?

Dr. Jane Nelsen–the mom of (*5*)–defined it greatest when she described punishment as something that causes a baby to really feel blame, disgrace, or ache.

For occasion, it could really feel like your solely choice is to provide your son a swift spank on the underside after hitting his sister. But, in actuality, it does little to alter his future conduct. He might cease within the second, however you may wager he’ll hit her once more–particularly if he struggles with impulse management.

It additionally doesn’t make a lot sense, particularly for younger kids.

They assume, If Mom and Dad don’t need me to hit, then why are they hitting me?

Punishments that trigger your baby to be embarrassed or humiliated–like yelling at them in entrance of their mates–aren’t useful, both. In reality, they’re extra prone to drive a wedge in your relationship and lead your baby to lie sooner or later fairly than make a real conduct shift.

Punishments depend on utilizing destructive emotions to finish a destructive conduct, which merely doesn’t work. However, penalties used accurately will empower your baby to make the fitting selections the subsequent time round. 

Tip #2: Always Give a Warning in Advance

Your kids have some distinctive skills, however mind-reading isn’t one in all them.

Your toddler is aware of to steer clear of the recent range as a result of you informed him it’s sizzling. 

Your older baby is aware of to look each methods earlier than crossing the road as a result of you’ve spent years coaching her to take action safely.

As parents, it’s no secret our kids are impulsive and usually act lengthy earlier than they assume (particularly after they’re little). But it’s additionally our job to verify they’re totally conscious and ready for the less-than-desirable outcomes of their actions. 

When it involves determining efficient penalties for your baby, except you give them a little bit grace and superior warning (earlier than they mess up), the implications might be totally ineffective as a result of they’ll really feel like punishment. 

Kids must know the attainable penalties of their actions earlier than they’ve the chance to make a mistake, in order that they have each likelihood to make a optimistic choice.

So what does this sound like, precisely? 

**Friendly word: Mistakes occur, and kids deserve grace. We ought to solely difficulty these warnings to our kids primarily based on repeated patterns. 

I’m glad you requested! Here are a few examples:

Samantha, you might be rising up in so some ways, and you might be mature sufficient now to recollect to take what you want for fitness center class. So, I’ll now not be driving your forgotten sneakers or fitness center garments to high school sooner or later. If you neglect your sneakers on fitness center days, you’ll must miss out on having fun with fitness center time with the remainder of the category. What programs or reminders would you prefer to put in place that will help you bear in mind by yourself?

Marcus, I observed you used your iPad throughout our household’s tech-free hours. If you select to sneak extra tech time, you’ll lose your iPad privileges for the subsequent three days. Is there something you wish to do that will help you bear in mind our tech guidelines? Or is there a system you wish to put in place so you understand how a lot time you’ve got left?

Then, have them repeat the expectation and the attainable consequence again to you in order that they’re crystal clear on what is going to occur. When your kids know the implications earlier than you need to use them, the ball is now of their court docket. They are accountable for what occurs subsequent–not you!

Not solely is that this extremely liberating to you–the dad or mum–but it surely additionally arms over a specific amount of energy and management to your baby (which they love!). 

And don’t neglect to verify they’re arrange for success — with programs or reminders that they create — and allow them to know you’ve got confidence they’ll be capable of make the fitting choice independently.

You received’t consider how empowering that may be!

Tip #3: Seek Natural Consequences First

If you need the cream of the crop of penalties, Natural Consequences are the way in which to go. So search these first! 

Natural Consequences happen with out any parental involvement, versus Logical Consequences, the place you’ve got a stake within the sport. 

Let’s say your sixth grader left his math homework on his desk at dwelling. He knew the task was due the next day however forgot to place it in his backpack earlier than heading out the door.

He’d already been warned upfront (as described in Step 2 of the course) that it was his accountability to verify his assignments made it to high school with him. You’ve had this dialog many instances earlier than. He is aware of the implications.

So, when he finally realizes that he left his homework on his desk–and understands it’s his job to recollect it–he’ll know the consequence falls squarely on his shoulders. He’ll must take the dock within the grade that comes with a late task. 

No dad or mum desires to be the unhealthy man. With Natural Consequences, life will get to be the massive trainer

And sooner or later, he’ll seemingly be way more adamant about remembering his jersey. No reminding from you required!

How superb is that?!

And as soon as the pure consequence has performed out, you may step in and supply your help. Calmly (and with out an I-told-you-so perspective), ask how he can tweak his routine to make sure the identical drawback doesn’t occur once more.

Helpful Hint: Make certain the consequence is cheap in its severity or period. 

For instance, your daughter insists on strolling to the bus cease in shorts in February. That’s a wonderful alternative for a pure consequence! But a 3-hour winter Girl Scout hike? Nope-the penalties are too harmful. 

Instead, you would possibly merely inform her you’ll give her a journey when she’s dressed appropriately-and alert her to the truth that if she’s late, she might miss the hike altogether.

The identical goes for a consequence that may severely inconvenience one other particular person. In instances like these, penalties will not be the fitting instrument — you’ll wish to use one other of the 36 instruments in our Toolbox.

Unfortunately, it’s not all the time possible to discover a Natural Consequence for each misbehavior. That’s while you’ll transfer on to a Logical one. 

with natural consequences life gets to be the big teacher

Tip #4: Choose Consequences that Fit the Misbehavior

While Natural Consequences are simpler than Logical Consequences as a result of they let life be the trainer, typically they’re merely not an choice. That’s after we, as parents, should tackle the disagreeable activity of engineering the implications ourselves.

However, Logical Consequences may be difficult as a result of they must be simply that–logical! Which isn’t all the time the best to determine, particularly within the pinch of the second.

Still, I can not stress this sufficient: Logical Consequences should be associated to your baby’s misbehavior. 

If there’s no relation, I promise you, they’ll be ineffective in the long term. They’ll solely make your baby offended at you and received’t immediate them to be taught from their errors. 

Of course, figuring out a Logical Consequence is way simpler mentioned than accomplished. . .

That’s as a result of all of us get hung up on our baby’s “currency.” You know, that factor they love a lot that it’s our go-to merchandise to remove for any and all misbehavior (whether or not it’s associated or not).

You may need taken away your son’s online game privileges as a result of he refused to mow the garden or canceled your daughter’s playdates as a result of she slapped her little sister.

More typically than not, we use no matter has essentially the most leverage to realize management over our baby. 

While this may increasingly seem to work within the brief time period–like your son giving in and mowing the garden–you’re guaranteeing a rise in energy struggles down the road. 

They might even resolve that their “currency” isn’t all that invaluable in any case and would fairly be cussed and combat again.

Simply put, when the consequence isn’t straight associated to the precise conduct alternative, nothing is discovered.

So what does an efficient Logical Consequence appear like?

I’m glad you requested…

Let’s say your 12-year-old obtained a brand-new drum set for Christmas. For years she’s been begging to be taught to play, and also you lastly really feel like she’s sufficiently old to be accountable with them.

The present comes with just one stipulation–no enjoying between 8 PM and eight AM. 

You warn her upfront that the consequence of breaking this rule will imply shedding her drum privileges for three days. The consequence is affordable and associated, and you’ve got her repeat it again to you so she’s clear. You additionally brainstorm together with her methods of reminding herself to be accomplished by 8:00, and he or she decides to set a recurring alarm on her watch.

She ought to be capable of handle that, proper?


After a few week of placing away her drumsticks by 8 PM, she pushes the restrict and reveals no indicators of stopping, even at 8:15. It’s time to comply with via with the consequence you arrange. And as a lot as you’d prefer to let life be the massive trainer right here, you realize that job is all yours.

In a peaceful voice, you enter the room and say, “I see you chose to lose your drum-playing privileges by ignoring the playing hours you agreed to. You’ll need to put your drumsticks away until Thursday. But this is a learning opportunity, and I have confidence you’ll be able to follow the rules for quiet time in the future.”  

Naturally, she protests. But in the long run, she is aware of it was her actions alone that led to the undesirable consequence–and you may wager she’ll maintain a greater eye on the time beginning Thursday.

As with Natural Consequences, you’ll wish to make sure that Logical Consequences are cheap in severity and period. You’ll be extra prone to comply with via when they’re one thing you may reside with.

learn more about natural and logical consequences

Tip #5: Make it a Teachable Moment

As parents, we love teachable moments, don’t we?

There’s nothing fairly like seeing an necessary lesson lastly sink into our kids’ brains. It’s simply so satisfying!

But we should do not forget that we shouldn’t use penalties so haphazardly that our baby learns nothing from the expertise. 

Because our final purpose isn’t to finish misbehavior…

Uh, say what now, Amy?

Our final purpose is to search out and use methods that might be most useful to our baby whereas persevering with to foster a powerful parent-child connection.

Do we would like our kids to behave higher? Absolutely!

But it’s much more necessary to make sure that each consequence creates a ripple impact of their lives. It’s to verify the teachings discovered are necessary sufficient to stay round for future reference. 

When you’re processing what occurred along with your baby, simply make sure you keep away from the “I told you so.”

“I know it will be hard for you without your screen time privileges, and you’re frustrated. But you can learn from this! I have confidence you’ll be able to follow the rules next time.”

As I mentioned earlier than, penalties ought to be used sparingly. There are sometimes different, simpler methods to strive first.

And do you have to discover your head reeling, questioning simply the way you’ll lay off the implications? Don’t fear as a result of teachable moments aren’t simply for our kids. 

Sometimes, we’re those who must be taught the lesson. 

Bonus Tip: Class is in session! You can be taught to implement any of our 36 parenting instruments supplied in The 7-Step Parenting Success System.

Final Thoughts

At some level, each dad or mum has struggled with understanding learn how to hand out penalties appropriately. And ought to you end up deep within the consequence trenches, know there isn’t any higher time to get a deal with on issues than proper now.

These 5 suggestions are a unbelievable place to begin to get you not off course however know that there are a lot of extra assets that will help you finish your baby’s misbehavior. 

With each apply and intention, I promise you’ll be a consequence grasp very quickly!

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to my Newsletter:

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2. Register for my FREE 60-Minute Class:

Register for my free class known as How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. Classes run a number of instances per week to accommodate your busy schedule.

3. Enroll in my 7-Step Parenting Success System® Course

Enroll now in my confirmed 7-step system for busy parents prepared for change (it is rated 5 stars on Google). Plus, for a restricted time, save $100 on all plans—fully risk-free and with lifetime entry.

About the Author

Amy McCready

Nationally acknowledged parenting skilled Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions® and the best-selling writer of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic – A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of optimistic parenting strategies for happier households and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on The Doctors, CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most necessary position, she is the proud mother of two superb younger males.

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