Consequences Vs Punishment

I have been off Facebook this week and that has lead to two things. One I feel cut off from the world through 75% of my day. With my husband gone and having just had a new baby to balance with a toddler and older child I sometimes only leave the house twice a week; for Girl Scouts and Moms Group Tuesday evenings and to go to church on Sat or Sun. So online right now is my main connection to the world. Two I find I have more time, in my spare time, to do something I love; read! When the week is over and I go back to Facebook, I will have to make more time in my spare time to read and still virtually interact with people.

So what have I been reading this week? A book on having Large Families. Many large families have children close in age so I am learning a lot of great tips and tricks to make my day go so much smoother. The other thing Im reading, I posted about last week too, Parenting with Love and Logic. This book is literally changing our worlds! This chapter I am in right now has opened my eyes to so much. Its about the difference between punishments and consequences and how to handle them with empathy.

The author is talking about bed time. How he tried for years to teach his children about how important sleep was and that he would yell and shout to get them to go to bed and when they wouldn’t he would punish them with a spanking or taking away tv privileges or out of their sport events, etc. Then he said someone shared with him something so important. “You cant make a child go to sleep” He said he went upstairs and told his children he was sorry for meddling in their lives and that he was going to give them two rules for bedtime and leave it at that. 1. He and his wife did not want to see or hear from them after 8pm. They were more than welcome to be awake and in their rooms but they could not bother their parents. 2. Everyone in the house got up at 6.  (I already use this with Bailie because this was how my dad used to do it with me. After a certain age he stopped forcing bedtime but would make me get up no later than 7 on any given day. I was not allowed to sleep in or take naps. I learned the importance of sleep.) So he goes on to say that night his kids stayed up with their light on literally all night. When he got them up the next day they were tired and wanted to go back to bed and skip school, even claimed they were sick. He lovingly and empathetically said, “Well sure kids, that’s what happens to me too when I stay up too late. I bet it’s going to be a long day at school. Well, try to have as good of a day as you possibly can, under the circumstances. We’ll see you when you get home. Have a nice day.” and sent them on their way. When they got home they were dead tired and hardly made it through dinner when one of his children declared, “I think I’ll go to bed early” It took his child ONE NIGHT to learn a lesson he had been trying to teach them all for YEARS! 

Now like I said I already do this with bed time, but not because I was all insightful, but simply because thats how it was done with me. So I am pondering where else in her life I do this? Where do I possibly take away her chance to learn from the consequences (like being exhausted all day) by implementing punishments (like spanking or taking away a privilege)? Afterall, as an adult, noone takes away my computer or tv when I make mistakes or wont go to bed.  (More to come later after I ponder this further)


Feel free to check out my first post Who Owns THIS Problem


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