May 04, 2011

Natural Consequences

I don't pretend to know what I am doing when it comes to raising children.
In fact, I would be the first person to tell you that I have no clue and feel like a failure many times every day.
I have learned not to take advice from everyone...and not to give advice to other parents because every family situation is different.
The dynamics are so drastically unique that there is no parenting "strategy" that works for everyone.

Except love.
I know.
Complete mush coming from a person who is not mushy at all.
But just look at them.
I can't help but release a bit of my "inner mush" when it comes to my kids.

I will tell you this.

I am a huge believer in Natural Consequences.

Basically it means that something happens (consequence) in response to a behaviour that the child/adult has displayed without any involvement from another person.

Make sense?

I may not know how to sew or cook gravy, but I am an expert at allowing my children to learn from their own actions.

I also like to call it "blocking out" and "picking my battles".
Is the issue something that I want to battle out with a stubborn, bull headed child or can I let it go and let them learn themselves?

Princess hates wearing jackets and must, at all times have her sleeves rolled up.  It drives me crazy, but if she wants to walk outside in the frigid weather without a jacket, I know she will realize that it is friggin cold and will want her coat in approximately 14.2 seconds.

Lesson learned....and I didn't have to spend 10 minutes arguing about it beforehand.

Another example.
Middle child loves to kick balls as high as he possibly can.  It has always been a fun thing for him to kick them on the roof.  You know where this is going right?
I could have spent months/years sitting him down giving him the speech about not kicking the ball so high.  I could have lost my mind yelling about it.
But instead I allowed him to kick it high enough for it to get stuck on the roof.
And I didn't get it for him.
Lesson learned.  "If I kick the ball on the roof, it might get stuck and then I wont have a ball to play with."
I do not hover over my children.
I do not interfere with their growing independence.
I allow them to make mistakes.
I allow them to learn from their actions/mistakes.

Because life is about behaviour and consequences.
And Mommy isn't going to be there forever to warn them and make it all better.
But Mommy will always be there to love them no matter what.

*Obviously natural consequences only work if it is safe.  I would never allow my children to run out on the road or put their hands under hot water.  That would be just stupid.  Natural consequences are also logical.  Just saying.


Kara @ His, Hers and Ours said...

I love this philosophy, and feel the exact same way. I'm not the type of mom that runs every time my 2 year old trips, and falls down...when I know she's not gushing blood. I don't intervene every time my 11 year old get's into an argument with a friend. They have to learn. On their own.

P.S Loved your disclaimer too. :)

Stephanie said...

Ah, yes, the Common Sense Approach. Works like a charm! I wish more people used it in parenting...

Gigi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gigi said...

Too bad all parents don't share this philosophy.

Jenners said...

Amen! This is one of the wisest posts on parenting I've ever read.