One Example of Why I Love Natural Consequences
Have you ever come across a child who didn’t want to do something? Of course you have!
Being both a parent and a teacher, I come across this situation nearly every single day.
My absolute favorite way of addressing this is by means of embracing natural consequences.
Natural consequences simply means that outcomes will happen as a result of behavior that are not controlled.
To give an example, there was a time when I was teaching when an incident occurred where Child A disrupted Child B’s work. Child B got upset so I called Child A back over and explained that Child B was upset and said, “what do you think we should say to make them feel better?”
Child A decided it was a time to lose their voice and became interested in the floor.
It was after a while I then said, “Okay, since you want to have some time to think I will wait until you are ready to speak.” It was during this time that all the other children were getting into a group and singing songs and playing games, which Child A noticed.
I let Child B put away their work to join the group explaining to them that Child A will come over and speak when they are ready. So I waited with Child A, who of course wanted to join the group, but could see I wasn’t about to let them join without clearing up this situation.
After reminding them of this fact a few minutes later, I could see on their face that they had made the decision. They walked up to Child B and said, “sorry,” and then turned to look at me. I simply smiled and said, “you can join the group now.”
This above example is just one of many I have of how easily these situations can be resolved without saying, “Now what do you say!?” There is no need to make them feel bad by placing them on a ‘naughty chair’ or any other sort of punishment. Some parents I see chose to ignore this type of behavior because it’s too much work to deal with.
Now I know how hard it is for a mom, especially when you’re in a rush, but I personally feel that the sooner children learn how to be social and treat their friends with respect, the more they will grow as a caring individual.
I think it’s easy to forget that these children will grow up to be adults, and how letting these behaviors slip can result in adults who don’t take responsibility for their own actions.
One way we can make sure this will not happen is to let our children know it’s okay to make mistakes as long as they take responsibility for their natural consequences for every action.
What do you think? Share with me your stories of success using natural consequences in the comments below.