Thursday, June 7, 2012

The truths behind rewards and consequences in parenting

Part of parenting is to prepare our children for the real world, and the real world is partly based on rewards and consequences/punishments.

If you do well, you might get a reward.

If you don't do well, you might get some consequences, whether that might be natural consequences, or one that is enforced by some form of authority.

The reality is, the child has to have the necessary skills to achieve the desired behaviour.

So next time your child is not behaving, and the behaviour is not improving despite consistent rewards and consequences, take a breath, step back from the situation, be present, and ask yourself, "Does my child actually have the skills here to achieve the desired behaviour, or is he naughty and do not want to behave?"

If the answer is that he is "naughty and do not want to behave", then the next step is to up the rewards or up the consequences.

If the answer is that he does not have the skills, then we need to coach him, and help him to succeed rather than upping the consequences.  In this instance, upping the consequences will only make the matter worse.

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