Of Parenting, And Natural And Logical Consequences Of Living!

July 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Parenting

One of the toughest dilemmas for any parent is realizing when you need to have your child obey you and when you have to let your child make independent choices for which they are liable. In this process, parents could do with some aid. This is achieved using the twins: logical and natural consequences.

Natural consequences are the real-life effects of the choices that a child makes. For example, if the child touches a hot stove, he or she will get burnt. This is a perfect example of a natural consequence, where the child fast realizes the link between a badly-chosen act and its outcome.

On the other hand, cause and effect relationships can be taught to the child in a much safer environment. In this scenario, the little one will promise sincerely to save his allowance to purchase a bicycle. However, he might get caught out by temptation and buy some easily broken toys with the money, and still be anticipating the bicycle.

In such cases, the parent ought to do nothing about the situation. This will help the child to realize the cause and effect relationship linking choice and consequence. The benefit of this technique is that it teaches a child both sides of the coin. When the kid makes a good choice, the reward is good. If not, then no reward. Thus, doing this shows them that they are responsible for their own actions and builds good values in them. These two acts of achieving something and doing it independently strengthen each other is a positive feedback loop.

However, there are many scenarios which a parent won’t attempt to use to teach their kids the value of good decision-making. Here, logical consequences would apply, instead. An example of this is a busy road. No parent will allow their child to run out on the road to observe for themselves the consequence on not looking in both directions before crossing!

Logical consequences need the parent’s involvement in showing outcomes. Basically, the parent clearly defines the choice made by the child is logically linked to the choice of the parent. Not returning a video at the right time will lead to payment of a late fee. Removing this money from the allowance of the child is a logically related consequence, since it is openly linked to the little one’s failure to keep the commitment.

Some consequences of actions are very severe. A natural consequence of a young teenage girl have unprotected sex with her teen boyfriend may be pregnancy. Using the logical consequence to educate about the possible scenarios can prevent this situation, hence reducing risk.

The parents can work to make these logical consequences sound as varied and genuine as possible. One of the choices would be to break up the two, and yet, this is an approach that works very rarely. On the other hand, using supervision and restriction of certain activities such as going to the mall or the movies may work to some degree. There is no one solution, since most teens are different, with different mind-sets. Using a logically related consequence works much better, in any case, compares to only punishment for the deed.

Sometimes, it’s safe to let a child or even teen to get the experience of suffering through the consequences of bad actions. In other cases, this is not advisable, since the consequences could be serious and far-reaching. Making the choice between these two is always a difficult decision for many parents. In this case, it’s best to let your experience do the talking!