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The Power of Natural Consequences


As parents, you always want what’s best for your kids. You spend so much energy trying to teach them the skills they need to succeed. Finding the balance between intervening and allowing experiences to serve as lessons can be challenging. One way to help do this is by using natural consequences.

But what does that mean, and how can you use it in a way that’s helpful for your kids?

We see natural consequences everywhere. If your kid forgets to bring a raincoat on a rainy day, the natural result is getting wet. Suppose they spend all their allowance money too quickly. In that case, the natural consequence is no more spending money for the week. As a parent, you might be inclined to bring the raincoat for them anyway or take away their spending money because they weren’t responsible. However, these natural consequences can be a powerful tool to teach your kids how to become responsible and independent. 

John Wooden, a famous basketball coach, once said that most mistakes young people make come from not knowing what to do, not disobedience. So, as parents, it is your job to help your kids learn rather than just punishing them. For example, your child might have trouble talking to their teacher or coach. Instead of going to speak to that person for them or punishing them for not getting the task done, you could pretend to be the teacher or coach, and your child can practice talking to them. This helps them learn how to stand up for themselves.

In school, knowing how to study and ask for help is important. You can show your child different ways to study and ensure they have a good place to study at home. Encourage them to talk to their teachers if they need help. By working together, you empower them to take responsibility for their learning. This will set habits to prepare them to succeed in the future.

The same idea applies to sports. You can discuss strategies to succeed with them, like setting goals or practicing more. However, if they choose not to listen, they might face consequences, like not playing as much. They should learn from their own choices rather than you always to tell them what to do. 

Finding the right balance between stepping in and letting your kids figure things out independently is hard. If your child has the tools to succeed but doesn’t use them, sometimes, they need to learn from the outcome. This teaches them about being responsible for their actions. By using natural consequences, you’re teaching them to be independent and accountable. This is important to help your kids grow and learn so they can be successful in whatever they do.

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