Consequences. To me, a consequence is a result of any given action positive or negative. This is a word that I have grown up with my entire life.
As parents, Dan & I are doing the best we can to teach our children about consequences. It’s not always easy to teach a 3 year old & a 19 month old about end results. BUT we’re getting there. Ben understands much more now & at times, unfortunately, is the one who winds up getting in more trouble because we think that he should know better (doesn’t always mean he does). As of late, Emilia has been the one causing a lot of the trouble. She has become quite the instigator. Regardless of who starts what they are a perfect brother-sister combo & know how to push each other’s buttons. Sometimes, like all siblings, the button pushing goes a little too far & someone gets hurts, someone gets mad, something breaks or falls apart & when that happens there are consequences. For the kids, their consequences entail toys getting taken away, time outs, no dessert after dinner, no playing outside, early bedtime, etc. Should either get in trouble, they are told what they did that was wrong (what we feel was wrong) & let them know what their consequence is, if any.
On the flip side, there are positive consequences that we make sure to reward them with as well. It’s not just for good behavior. When Ben recently learned how to write his name he was rewarded…at breakfast. We gave him a chocolate chip cookie. Lucky him! As his parent’s we were so proud of him & for all the hard work he did to learn to do this his result was a good old fashioned cookie! When we were having sleep issues with him, we purchased a calendar & stickers for him and each night he would make it through the night without one of us coming in to sleep with him he got a sticker. After 5 stickers/nights (which took awhile) we took him down to the Hershey’s store on Michigan Avenue. I wrote about that trip here.
With Emilia we’re working on it. She’s still 19 months but we are working on it day by day. We are teaching her right from wrong, good from bad, etc. She’s getting it. But, like I said above, she is also learning to instigate “fun” (at least what she thinks is fun when sometimes its dangerous) She had her first time out a week or two ago. It was short lived & today I don’t remember what it was about but she was put in her crib for a few minutes (its the only place she can’t escape). And she’s been received accolades for good things. At this point, its usually more juice or maybe she gets to stay up a few minutes later.
As their parents, Dan and I want to be good examples for them. We want them to know that we also can get in trouble or be rewarded for our actions. We want them to know that other people, family & friends, are responsible for their actions. We want them to know that they can make their own decisions but there will be consequences. They need to know its ok to remove themselves from a situation or a person/people if they do not like the way they’re treated or like the activities taking place. We just want them to THINK & then think about the consequences. BUT we want Ben & Emilia to know that no matter what we will always love them.