It’s day 12 of the 31 days of Teachable Parenting challenge and I’ve given a lot of Bible verses and shared a lot about matters of the heart. That is the core of Teachable Parenting. It isn’t a formula that you memorize. It’s a lifestyle. However, I know everyone (myself included) wants examples of what that looks like and direction on how to handle specific scenarios. This week I am going to be giving a lot more tips on how to be a teachable parent, including giving choices, using enforceable statements, limiting your words, and setting a timer. Today’s tip is to use logical consequences.

My caption when I posted this youtube video over a year ago was “I told her she was being too rough… She had it coming.” For the record she was totally fine, but what she got was an impromptu lesson in logical consequences. She kept pushing to hard and eventually the baby “pushed back”. 

Teachable Parenting wants children to be able to learn from their mistakes which is why this method relies heavily on logical consequences. That means having a response to behavior that either happens on it’s own, like refusing to wear a jacket and then being cold, or a disciplinary action that corresponds with the offense. For example if the child doesn’t clean up their toys they loose the toys until they can earn them back. 

In Loving Our Kids On Purpose, Danny Silk talks about how using one form of discipline as a “one
size fits all” consequence is like using a hammer to build a house, which would
be impossible. You are going to need lots of tools! Logical consequences are forms of discipline customized to fit the teachable offense. The idea of customizing a
“punishmenent to fit the crime” is often scary for some because it implements
creativity and some of us don’t feel like we are creative people, but you’ll get the hang of it. The more you do it the more you will see that you can implement logical
consequences and it relieves a lot of the stress that we feel through
parenting. Believe me!
Here are five examples of logical consequences.
1. The child colored on the wall- the child cleans up the wall and
gives the crayons to mommy and daddy until they feel like you they are ready to use
them responsibly.
2. The child is being destructive and breaks a siblings toy- The parent take the offenders favorite toy as payment, or they have to do work to earn enough for a replacement.
4. The child refuses to eat dinner.- They are not allowed to have
dessert or snack.
5. The child is fighting and being disruptive.- They should go to
another room until they are ready to play nicely with others.
Examples of the opposite would be either 5 spankings, 5 time-outs,
or always loosing TV priviledge for every single offense. 
Obviously there are times that you may not be able to use logical
consequences like on issues that are dangerous or if it creates a problem for
others. Seat belts is one that I am still working on. My dad used to slam on
his breaks and let us all fall onto the floor of our old VW van. Now, whether
he was just alleviating his boredom on long road trips or trying to teach us a
lesson in safety I’m not sure. The point is I don’t want my children to learn the hard
way on this one because I value their lives, but as far as how to enforce it,
well, it feels like a daily battle that I am still working on. 
However, one more example that is very personal to me and I am being
vulnerable here, but my 7 year old got his clip moved all the way down to red a couple weeks ago at school. If
you don’t know the clip system your clip starts on green, then yellow if you need a
warning, orange means you are in hot water and the teacher gets to choose the
disciplinary action. RED IS BAD! Red means you really blew it and the parents
will be notified. You can imagine how horrified I was to hear this news, first
from my son, then from his teacher. He hit someone in the back on the
playground and swung his jacket around and caught another kid in the eye. No
one was seriously injured and it was probably just him being a boy. However, I
have always said I would side with the teacher and collobarte with them instead
of making excuses for my child. So my son had to write a letter of apology
(which of course for him included an illustration of the offense) and give it
to the boys who were hurt. He had to ask forgiveness to me and his teachers.
Then he had to use his strength and energy for good instead of bad, to help and
not harm. In this case that called for unlimited chores for the rest of the
week. He had no time for electronics. Just chores, homework, dinner, bath, and
play time at the park with the family, but at home it was all business.
Did it work? Will he ever hit again? Will he be a model citizen and
grow up to prove that he had the best mom in the world? I don’t know. In the
end he is the one who controls himself and makes decisions. My job is to pray
for him and with him, and guide/instruct to the best of my abilities. I will say that it’s been two weeks since then and he hasn’t even had his clip moved to orange once! I have been in touch with his teacher and I am so relieved that it looks like he did in fact learn a lesson in this season.
So that is the basics of using logical consequences, also known as natural or related consequence. 
Do you have a story like this from your childhood or have you found a natural/related consequence that you use with your children? Please share. I am always looking for creative
ways to teach invaluable lessons!

This is Day 12 of a 31 day series. For the rest of Teachable Parenting click HERE.