what does a lack of consequences look like?

The little boy hit a little girl at the park so I made him apologize to her and her dad and then we came home. He’s got to understand that there are consequences for actions even if he apologizes. The teenager does that shit all the time, says he’s sorry to his mom about whatever stupid thing he’s done and the behavior never changes. She didn’t take his truck away from the other night when he didn’t let us know where he was and didn’t come in until 4 in the morning and she was awake worried about him all night. She said that the next time it happens, she will take his truck but I know it won’t happen. this idea of threatening consequences and then they’ll stop is bullshit. eventually it loses its effect because the kids know that nothing will really happen.


One thought on “what does a lack of consequences look like?

  1. (starting off with an extreme example to make a point)

    be home by 6 pm or i will kill you.

    another another less extreme,

    be home by 6 pm or no vegetables for a week.

    i can only imagine the first consequence is one you wouldn’t follow through with. the second consequence would have no sting.

    that’s the balancing act; find a consequence that has enough sting and a consequence that you are willing to follow through on. not following on a consequence screams i can do what i am told not to do and get away with it. a consequence with no sting doesn’t teach anyone because the consequence carries no pain.

    i don’t know enough of your situation but that is your challenge: find a consequence with enough sting and yet be a consequence you are willing to impose.


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