Thursday, February 4, 2010

Go to your room...(that includes you mom!)

I typically put a show on for the kids while I go upstairs to take my shower. I leave the bathroom door open so for the most part I can hear what is going on while I shower. Yesterday, I came downstairs after my shower to see and hear the kids quickly running out of the kitchen, jumping on the sofa, and quietly giggling. I knew they were up to something. As I came around the corner, their little checks were filled with something. I asked Owen what was in his mouth and before he could answer, Anna said in a giddy excited voice "chocolate!" While in my shower the kids had moved one of the dining room chairs into the kitchen and helped themselves to the Hershey Kisses that were sitting on the kitchen counter (they did manage to grab some grapes as well!). Anyway, needless to say, I was a bit frustrated since they know when I'm taking my shower they are suppose to be either playing nicely or watching their show. They aren't to be in Mommy's kitchen without first asking me. So what was I to do? I took a deep breath and told Owen in a calm and controlled voice to go to his room. (Back to my previous post, we need to show our kids self control and even though I wanted to yell and scream that yet once again they've managed to do something I've told them not to do...we need to be the example. Also, remind me to tell you the analogy about the traffic cop if you haven't already heard it!) Anyway, Owen went straight to his room without complaining or whining and sat on his red stool by the door waiting for me to come talk to him. Anna went to her room as well. So what was I going to do? In my opinion the best consequence was a logical consequence so I went into Owen's room and we talked about why Mommy sent him to his room. I told him that because he did something that he shouldn't have done - pushing the dining room chair into the kitchen to get chocolates off the counter - that he would not be getting any treats today (I'll write more about this later when I talk about picky eaters and why this was a logical consequence...). To me this was the best logical consequence that I could think of that was tied to what just happened. Here are some thoughts to consider when it comes to logical consequences:
* A logical consequence is a way for a parent to "redirect a child's thinking and behavior, which is logically associated with the offense" (GKGW).
* To help you remember, there are three R's to logical consequences: Respectful, Relevant, and Realistic. See my next post on more details from a website I found regarding the three R's of logical consequences.
* You don't have to tell your child right away what the logical consequence is, but it should be determined while the child is sitting in a reflective time out. In other words, if you need time to think of an appropriate logical consequence, it's okay to tell your child to go sit in his room (this is not play time!) while you determine what the logical consequence will be (yes, you can go to your room too to think about it and pray for guidance!) This allowed me some time to cool down and to think clearly and then I was able to calmly go talk to Owen about his choices he had made and the consequences for those choices.
* Once you lay out a logical consequence, by all means, make sure you follow through with it! If not, then your kids will quickly realize that you don't mean what you say. Don't give in no matter how much whining and complaining and begging your child tries on you to get back whatever logical consequence you are enforcing. In those situations it's best to have your child go sit on his/her bed (or wherever your time out area is) until they are ready to have a happy heart - in other words that they are ready to stop complaining, whining or begging you.

How have you seen logical consequences work in your home? Do you have some issues that have come up that you need help determining logical consequence for? Maybe we'd be able to help!

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