Question about using natural consequences
I like to use natural consequences when possible with my 3-year-olds. One of them is in a phase right now of acting like he doesn't care about the consequences. Like if he loses a privilege or gets a toy taken away when he's misbehaving, he'll just say, "I don't need that" with a little grin. How do you handle this? I've been just kind of accepting it, that if he's willing to live with the consequence, then fine, it's his choice. But I'm just wondering how other parents handle that situation.
Good points. Thanks for the replies!And I think "logical consequences" might be a clearer term.
As frustrating as that can be, I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that we somehow have to make our children miserable with punishments (and I'm not implying that this is what you are saying) in order to have any effect. I'd say he is simply trying to get a rise out of you and I would react the same way you are, by doing nothing. And if he continued to misbehave I would keep on with further natural consequences.
as far as your child not caring - i would respond with a simple - "Ok. " if he doesn't care, then act as though you don't care - but give him a firm warning such as, "if you behave that way again, then you won't be able to (insert activity he is looking forward to here)." and then stick to it.
the only time i take away a toy is when DD is not playing nicely with it. that really upsets her, and she loses the toy until the next day. not really a NATURAL consequence, but a consequence non the less.
when i hear natural consequences, i think of this situation:
DD is running through the house and the floor is wet. i say, "Honey. Don't run. The floor is wet and you will fall." DD looks at me and smiles. I say, "Ok. I warned you." DD keeps running, slips, falls, and hurts herself (nothing serious). She cries. I look at her and say, "what happened?" which i get the response, "i fell." i respond, "Yep. I know. I told you that you would. Now, come here, and show me what you hurt." i usually ask if she is going to do that again, and she usually says, no. Falling and hurting oneself is a natural consequence to running on slippery floor -
i am all about letting natural consequences teach my children lessons, as long as the situation is not going to kill them or make them sustain terrible injuries, such as touching a hot stove, an electrical socket, or run into traffic.
I went through this! I don't know how well you take it but for a while it drove me NUTS! like to where I would be like "well then I'll take ___ away too!" and she reacted the same saying she didn't like that anyways. Then i realized acting like a child as well wouldn't help at all. So I started to just ignore when they'd say that because they DO care, it's just a way to tick you off by being smart mouths.
for me this would really depend on if the consequence was having the desired effect. does he say "oh i dont need that" but still stop the unwanted behavior?
if it had no effect what so ever i would start looking for other consequences.
personally i am not a fan of taking away A toy, unless it's some super special toy that your kid is really attached to. why? b/c most kids have plenty of other toys they can play with. taking away one is a drop in the bucket.
also w/taking priveledges you have to make sure he's not just redirecting to something elsen he enjoys just as much. like "oh, i lost my video game time, i'll just watch tv."