When your kids make a mistake, it is wise to let them participate in choosing the consequence for the action when applicable.
Have you ever let your child choose her own consequence for her actions?
Does that sound a little insane?
It actually is something that works really well.
Principle number four in Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood is to share the thinking.
This means you have your child sit and think through options–no matter what the question is–rather than just deliver the answer.
This is applied to discipline very well. I have found that when I ask my children what they think should happen when they do something wrong, they come up with a much harsher punishment than I would deliver myself.
I sometimes go with their consequence, but most often I suggest something I think is more appropriate for the crime and the child is then very happy to accept whatever it is that is coming.
Having the child think through things like this helps them really process it and evaluate it.
Was it wrong? Why was it wrong? What should happen because it was wrong?
This helps the child to learn from the mistake and also helps the child to not get angry at the consequence giver.
Love and Logic Magic states
“Successful people never fail; they turn failures into wisdom.”
Thinking through the scenario and what should be done about it helps the child to turn that mistake or failure into wisdom. They really learn from it.
What age can you try this? I would say in certain situations, a three year old can handle this. Three is the age most children start to understand morals, so moral thinking can happen in a three year old.
Judge for yourself what age your child is ready. I would start analyzing it at age three. If your child is not ready at three, keep coming back to this idea as your child grows in maturity.
- Why You Need to Allow Kids to Make Mistakes
- Why You Need to Share Control with Your Child
- Benefits of Teaching Kids to Deal With Consequences
- How to Quickly Think of a Logical Consequence for Kids