We believe as parents we are raising future adults, we are not merely raising children. This long term vision helps us to be more intentional as parents. We don’t just fly by the seat of our pants hoping our children turn out ok. We take active steps to ensure they have the proper skills to become contributing members of society.
When our children are naughty, we don’t just tell them to sit somewhere. What does that actually teach them? There have been a few times we have chosen to spank our children, however those are few and far between. Perhaps I will explain another day. Our main form of discipline is actually natural consequences. Sometimes the consequences come organically, sometimes those consequences are inflicted by us. We always ask ourselves, “If they were an adult, what would happen?” We would rather they make mistakes on a much smaller scale then become an adult when the consequences are much more devastating.
This technique has been very successful for our family. If you ask our kids what will happen if they did a certain thing as an adult, they will tell you (insert eye roll). Sometimes the way they say it has us rolling on the floor. They know exactly what will get them fired, or what will happen if they don’t clean up after themselves. I believe this really empowers them because they get to choose their destiny (again with choices haha). They have more control over how their lives will play out.
I could go on and on about this subject! I am very passionate about it and believe very much in its effectiveness.
Here are some ideas:
- If little one threw a tantrum over a toy. What would have happened to you if you had blowout as an adult? Your friends wouldn’t want to be around you. So little Johny should be removed to a place of isolation for a few minutes
- Little Susie just screamed straight in your face. What would have happened if you did that to your boss? Fired perhaps? If you get fired, resources become scarce. How about take little Susie’s favorite toy for a little while.
- If you lost or broke some else’s toy they let you play with, you have to give them one of yours to replace it. If you were an adult, you would have to give the other person money to buy a new one.
- One of my favorites and most effective…..If they don’t pick up their toys and such, you do it for them. However, instead of them going into the toy box, they get to take a few weeks break in your closet. If they were adults and didn’t clean up, their stuff would break or not be usable thus they would have to throw it out. One of my favorite phrases, “Would you like to pick it up or would you like me to do it?” It always causes prompt action because they know if I get it where it goes.
There are a few examples to get the brain working and see how it’s applied in our family. All of our actions good or bad have consequences and that is a huge lesson we can teach our children to make their adulthood much more enjoyable.