First Friday is Back! Threats vs Consequences

(Oh boy, can you tell I’m working on a sleep-deprived, new-baby mama’s brain?  See if you catch my mis-speaks.  If you’re sleep deprived too and didn’t notice, there’s a hint at the bottom of the post.  I didn’t even notice I had fumbled until I played it back!  Oh well, nobody’s perfect, right?)

A recent Ecourse participant asked about the difference between threats and consequences.  I thought it was a great question, so I wanted to share that with you here.  What are your thoughts?

(This video can also be viewed on YouTube here.)
Tone.  When your tone is angry it sounds and feels more like a threat.  When you are calm, and even empathetic (“That would be so sad….”) you’re simply informing them of the facts.  Another way to think of it is as a gentle reminder.  (“Remember that if ____ then ____.  That would be too bad.”)  One puts more power with the adult the other allows the child to own their own choices.

Follow Through. 
When you follow through with consequences, it teaches children that choices and consequences go together and that they can make their own choices.  When we don’t follow through or follow through sporadically, the children feel more like the consequences are influenced more by our daily mood rather than their choices.

It’s hard to enforce consequences.  The kids often get upset and we feel like the bad guy.  We start to wonder if it’s really “positive” guidance if everyone is crying.  But as tempting as it is to rescue kids from consequence, there are times when they simply have to learn from consequences.  When we give warnings over and over without any follow through, it sounds more like threats and nagging than a reminder of consequences.

More Resources:

Choices and Consequences {NJC}

Threat or Consequence– What’s the Difference?  {Early Childhood News}


Want to get “registrated” for the upcoming Ecourse of “Positive with Parenting Guidance”?  (Did you catch it in the video?)  I’d love to have you!   Be sure to use the TEAM discount! 

Keep sending in your questions for the next First Friday to!



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