Consequences that Don't Work

Monday March 4, 2013

By Amy Morin

I have parents that often come into my therapy office to tell me that for one reason or another, the consequences they are using to try to change their child's behavior, just isn't working. Often, it is because they are using consequences that just don't work.

Take for example, a lecture. Lecturing kids isn't likely to lead to a major behavioral change. Just imagine, what if instead of getting a traffic ticket, you know that speeding could lead to a lecture from a police officer. Would the fear of getting a lecture deter you from speeding? If you're like most of us, probably not.

Consequences have to hurt a little. If you tell your child he can't play outside, and he doesn't care, it won't be an effective consequence. You need to take away something that he cares about.

If your consequences don't seem to be changing your child's behavior, it's time to go back to the drawing board. Learn more about how to make consequences more effective.


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