"I don’t care!"
"Do what you want."
"Fine, if you say so."
What can you do when consequences don't work as a form of discipline?
Do you hear such replies from your kid when you discipline them for their inappropriate behaviour? You may be a little bit alarmed by the way your kid reacts, and it may make you feel like the disciplinary action applied is not effective.
Kids and consequences can be tricky, but it is possible for you to find and apply the right mix! Here’s how!
Effective Tips for Kids and Consequences Combo
1. Consistency of Application
It is frustrating to hear your child say “I don’t care!” with a teeny smirk on his face when you tell him there are consequences for his behaviour.
Just because a child acts like he does not mind the consequences, does not really mean that your discipline is ineffective. Sometimes, your child will hide the fact that he is upset, and it bothers him to lose his privileges.
What will be the best thing to do in this situation? Stick to your guns. Consistently implement the consequence and observe. Pay less attention to what he says. Instead, focus on his actions afterwards. He will be discouraged from doing the same mistake again.
Tip: Is the misbehaviour repeated? If yes, you need to apply Plan B and step up your game! Find a more applicable consequence.
2. Right Type of Consequence
A time out might work if your child is still calm. But giving one to a hysterical child might not be effective. Little ones have feelings too, and sometimes, it just takes a little loving and heart-to-heart talk instead of scrapping playtime, or putting them in a corner to "think."
Use their power of thinking! Cut out your discipline according to your child’s needs.
Tip: Try applying positive reinforcement! Reward good behaviour that you want to see more often.
3. Time Frame for Consequences
It is wise to apply consequences as soon as misbehaviour occurs. A typical sibling rivalry fight can be an example. Reconciliation should be done immediately to teach your kids the value of saying sorry to each other.
The duration of consequences is also key. Is it reasonable to take away her gadget for a month? Is it effective to make him face the wall for an hour? It is said that consequences that drag on for too long may make the benefits of behaving less interesting.
Make the consequence too harsh and your kids may lose interest in proper behaviour. Make it short and they will miss the lesson that you are trying to teach. Remember to implement the consequences in a time-smart way while considering the level of your child’s maturity.
Your kids are unique individuals, so make sure to keep their differences in mind. There are different ways to discipline a child and there will be different consequences that you can apply.
Try different kids and consequences combinations, and see on which can help you guide your child to the right path!
Read also: Smart Ways to Discipline Your Child at Every Age