Natural or Logical consequences is a less severe alternative than say Time Out in dealing with children’s behaviour and can be used without having to set it up beforehand.
- Warning: Immediately you notice an unwanted behaviour occurring get the child’s attention and state what they must do eg “Stop playing and start tidying up”. Don’t get angry or emotional. Be sure to act each time the behaviour occurs. If it works praise the child for doing what they were told.
- Apply the consequence: remove the activity from the children eg take away the toy or game.
- Give the reason: Tell them why you are doing this eg “I’m taking away your toy because you didn’t tidy up when I asked you to”.
- State the time period: “You can have your toy back when you’ve tidied up like I asked”. Keep your end of the deal – give the toy back when they’ve done what you asked.
- Ignore arguments: However if more serious disruptive behaviour occurs, like tantrums or aggression, follow up with Time Out.
- After the incident: Don’t mention the incident again after the consequence and the toy has been returned. Praise them for appropriate behaviour as soon as possible. Do not ignore your children because of the incident.