Raising kids requires a lot of work, especially when it comes to teaching them right from wrong. Although there are many different things you do throughout the day to teach morals to your kids, one way you can do this is to use a consequence and privilege behaviour system. This allows you to punish negative behaviour while also allowing you to reward positive behaviour. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, here is how you can use consequences and privileges effectively.
Set the Rules
A consequence and privilege behaviour system needs to have rules in order to be effective. When starting your system, sit down with your kids and explain to them what you expect. You’ll need to mention the specific behaviours you’ll be looking for so that there are no surprises when your kids are punished for something. For example, if you’ve been dealing with backtalk, you might make this a behaviour that would earn a specific consequence. Alternatively, if you want your kids to do more chores, then you can award them with a privilege for successfully completing a chore.
Make the Punishment Fit the Crime
When deciding on punishments for your consequence and privilege behaviour system, make sure the punishment fits the crime. Too harsh of punishments can frustrate your kids while too lax of punishments might encourage them to continue misbehaving. Because you don’t want either of these things to happen, you’ll need to find a balance so that your consequences are effective.
Set Attainable Goals
In order to use privileges effectively, set attainable goals for your children, especially when first starting a consequence and privilege behaviour system. If you set the goal too high, your kids might feel frustrated, thinking that they’ll never be able to reach their goal. This might cause them to give up. Instead, set doable goals that they can attain. For example, you could set it up so that they need to do one chore in order to get their TV time. You can then give your children the chance to rise up to a challenge, letting them know that if they do an extra chore, they extra TV or video game time.
If you want to use consequences and privileges effectively, then you need to be consistent. By being consistent, your kids will know what to expect each time they show a negative or positive behaviour. If you don’t use consequences every time your child does something wrong, they’ll start to think that it’s ok for them to do. Alternatively, if you don’t reward your child each time they show a behaviour you want them to have, they might not see the benefit of continuing their positive behaviour.
Using consequences and privileges is a great way to help encourage positive behaviour in your kids. Do you use consequences and privileges? I’d love to hear your stories!
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!