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We use natural consiquences whenever possible. If they break something they have to pay to replace it. When they start driving then a natural consiquence for tickets or any other infractions would be loosing driving privilages for a certian amount of time. But I'm hoping we won't need that one.
We would ground them for sneaking out, going somewhere inapropriate or missing curfew without a phone call and a very good reason for being late (I'm talking missing it by 30 minutes or more) because grounding seems like a logical consiquence for those things. But thankfully we haven't had to do that yet.
Something esle we do is that if they've done something that has negatively affected someone else then we expect them to write a sincere appology. It's something we started with them in preschool and it may seem a little over the top but it's really effective. It forces them to think about how their actions affect others. We've only had to insist on this a handfull of times with all the girls. And at this point Meg and Abbey will write appologies without being prompted if they feel it's necessary. (which is rare)
Honestly, we don't have much need to "discipline" or punish the girls. We've been really lucky so far.
Kids are all so different – sometimes what works for one may not for another, even in the same family. I have to say that I do like the idea of natural consequences because what we're ultimately trying to do is teach responsibility and accountability. I heard a great 2-part radio program on parenting teens awhile back with Dr. Kevin Leman who refers to this as “Reality Discipline.” You can still listen to it online and there are links on those pages to some of his books, etc. Just go to the Focus on the Family website and search for "Game Plan for Parenting: The Teen Years." I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with this organization and have found so many resources that have helped me with my two boys – now in college. Open communication is also key – we’ve found we can avoid many of the problems just by making sure we’re talking and laying out the expectations ahead of time. If I could say one thing, it would be to encourage parents to invest time and energy on relationship – One of my favorite quotes by Josh McDowell is “Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.” Just some thoughts…
I try natural consequences when possible. For instance my teen stepdaughter is not allowed to wear foundation. She breaks out a lot and it makes it worse. We have let her wear it for pictures or dances, but she is not allowed to use it on a daily basis. And honestly when her skin breaks out it still is not blotchy or needing it.
She went with her mom's parents and they bought it for her. We told her that she should have told theme don't allow her to wear it (we have sole custody). She wore it a few times to school anyways and each time we reminded her of the rules. The 3rd time I took it and told her I would hold onto it until we decided to allow her to wear it.
I recently tried grounding my teens and preteen from their bedroom (except for sleeping). They like to hang in their rooms and have video games and stuff in there. So when I ground them from their room they have to hang out in the main area of the house. I like it because I see them more
I believe in using natural consequences as well as incentives to motivate children. I also feel that making amends is very important, such as writing an apology letter and/or doing something for another person (doing a sibling's chore, for instance).
I don't understand how some of these are supposed to be natural consequences. Natural consequences are things that happen independently of parental involvement. For instance, if my daughter stays up all night playing games on her DS instead of sleeping, then the natural consequence would be her not getting enough sleep and being tired the next day. Taking the DS away from her would be an example of a punishment.