Final Installment – Consequences That Matter

Does your child ignore every consequence you give him? I am excited to share this last tip imagesfrom an article by James Lehman, MSW at Empowering Parents which gives you some specific ways to make consequences work—even for the most resistant child.

Here’s the conclusion from James Lehman, MSW, “How to Give Consequences So They’ll Stick—Even When Kids Say They Don’t Care” . . . 

Don’t Show Disgust or Disdain
When giving consequences to your child, I think you should be consistent and firm, but don’t show disgust or disdain. In my opinion, you should never be sarcastic with your child because it’s wounding. What you’re trying to do is raise someone who can function, not somebody who feels they’re a constant disappointment to you.

 It’s very important to shape your behavior so that your child knows you’re not taking his mistakes personally. Remember, the look on your face and the tone of your voice communicates a lot more to your images-2child than your words do. Positive regard is critical for getting your message across.

 I think it’s important to remember that life is really a struggle for many kids. Going to school is difficult, both academically and socially, and there is tremendous pressure on children and teens to perform today. Personally, I think that kids should be recognized and respected for that.

Think of it this way: what you’re really trying to do is work on your child’s behavior to get him to try to do different things. So if your child misbehaves and you ground him from everything indefinitely, you’re losing sight of all the other things he did right—and he will, too.

Instead, we want to look at inappropriate behavior as a mistake your child makes. Parents often wonder why their kids make the same mistakes over and over, and I say, “Well, they do that because they’re kids. They’re not pretending. They perceive things very differently than adults do.”

We want our kids to learn, so we use the things they enjoy as leverage to teach them better behavior. After images-13all, giving your child a consequence until he shows you he can do better is an effective tool you have at your disposal at all times—even if he tells you he doesn’t care.

Thank you so much to James Lehman, MSW, for his insights into how to navigate consequences that matter!

Parents – what’s your experience with giving children consequences that count? I would love to hear your questions, comments, opinions, especially your experiences! Please let me know what you think by clicking here to post a comment.

Posted in discipline children, empowering parents, kids listen to parents, parents, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Consequences That Matter, Continued

Does your child ignore every consequence you give him? I am pleased to share another images-1important tip from an article by James Lehman, MSW at Empowering Parents which gives you some specific ways to make consequences work—even for the most resistant child.

I think that this tip goes back to the idea that the best consequences match the initial action and seek to make a learning experience for the child. The consequence should provide a growing experience where the child is able to find alternatives for the next time that situation comes up. Having consequences purely to punish are not only lost learning opportunities, but can be harmful to kids.

 Here’s more from James Lehman, MSW, “How to Give Consequences So They’ll Stick—Even When Kids Say They Don’t Care” . . .

 Some Things Should Never Be Used as Consequences

In my opinion, there are certain things that should never be taken away from kids. For instance, you getting-ready-for-prom-checklistshould never prohibit your child from going to the prom. Not ever. That’s a milestone in your child’s life; personally, I think that milestones should not be taken away. Your child is not going to learn anything from that experience—he’s just going to be bitter.

Thank you so much to James Lehman, MSW, for his insights into how to navigate consequences that matter!

Parents – what’s your experience with giving children consequences that count? I would love to hear your questions, comments, opinions, especially your experience! Please let me know what you think by clicking here to post a comment.

Posted in empowering parents, kids listen to parents | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Series On Consequences Continued . . .

Does your child ignore every consequence you give him? I am excited to continue to share images-18another tip from an article by James Lehman, MSW at Empowering Parents which gives you some specific ways to make consequences work—even for the most resistant child.

This tip reminds me of one of the most important things I’ve learned in my years of teaching and working with children – accountability. No matter how much that child works to make it seem as though they just don’t care, no matter how much they complain, I have found that there is almost always a part of them that is grateful to be held accountable.

 I know that might sound a bit far-fetched, but I’m sticking to what I’ve written. I would not expect a child to be able to articulate that, but I’ve found that there is a sense of relief when given boundaries, to be able to know that there is a limit, and that someone is holding them accountable. It helps that child to feel a sense of stability.

 On my most challenging days as a teacher, when I have had more than my share of misbehavior and the images-4consequences that follow, no matter how much complaining about the “unfairness” of the rules, those same children would say at the end of that challenging day during our closing circle that they appreciated Mrs. Collingwood and give me a hug before they went out the door.

Did they say “thank you for helping me to realize that it’s important to follow the rules”? No, I had to read in-between then lines to get that.

 Does it sometimes take awhile for it to feel like the consequences are making a difference? Yes, but working with children either as a teacher or a parent requires patience and faith.

 Here is more now from James Lehman, MSW, “How To Give Consequences That Stick – Even When Kids Say They Don’t Care” . . .

 How Will I Know If a Consequence Is Working?

Parents often say to me, “My child acts like he doesn’t care. So how do I know if the consequence I’m givingimages-24 him is actually working?” I always tell them, “It’s simple—you’ll know it’s working because he’s being held accountable.” Accountability gives you the best chance for change.

Focus on what you want your child to learn from the consequence—not whether or not he’s going to care.”    –James Lehman, MSW

 Thank you so much to James Lehman, MSW, for his insights into how to navigate consequences that matter!

 Parents – what’s your experience with giving children consequences that count? I would love to hear your questions, comments, opinions, especially your experience! Please let me know what you think by clicking here to post a comment.

Posted in discipline children, empowering parents, kids listen to parents, parents | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

More on Consequences That Count . . .

Does your child ignore every consequence you give him? I am excited to continue the seriesolder kids not listening from an article by James Lehman, MSW at Empowering Parents which gives you some specific ways to make consequences work—even for the most resistant child.

This tip shows another way to engage your child’s participation when they are given a consequence. By asking your child to think of alternative behaviors the next time something similar happens, you are not only helping to model solution-oriented behavior, but also helping them to take an active role in being more responsible for their choices.

Read on to find out more about James Lehman’s, “How to Give Consequences So They’ll Stick—Even When Kids Say They Don’t Care”

Engage Your Child’s Self-interestimages-22

Learn to ask questions in ways that appeal to your child’s self-interest. So for example, you might say, “What are you going to do the next time you think Dad is being unfair so you won’t get into trouble?” In other words, you’re trying to engage his self-interest.

 If your child is a teenager, he won’t care about how Dad feels. Adolescents are frequently very detached from that set of feelings. They might feel guilty and say they’re sorry later, but you’ll see the behavior happen again. So learn to appeal to their self- interest, and ask the question, “What can you do so you don’t get in trouble next time?”

Put it in his best interests: “Understand, if you’re going to talk to your sister meanly or curse at her, things are only going to get worse for you, not better. I know you want to keep your phone, so let’s think of ways for you to be able to do that.

Thank you so much to James Lehman, MSW, for his insights into how to navigate consequences that matter!images-19

 Parents – what’s your experience with giving children consequences that count? I would love to hear your questions, comments, opinions, especially your experiences! Please let me know what you think by clicking here to post a comment.

Posted in discipline children, empowering parents, kids listen to parents, parents, tips for parenting | Tagged | Leave a comment

Consequences That Matter, Continued

Does your child ignore every consequence you give him? I am excited to share another greatimages tip from an article by James Lehman, MSW at Empowering Parents which gives you some specific ways to make consequences work—even for the most resistant child.

 This tip from James Lehman really helps parents to focus in on ways to get the result you want from giving your child a consequence. Ideally, you want the consequence to help your child to change their behavior by learning that there are always choices at hand. Unfortunately, it is sometimes all too easy for parents who are disciplining their children to fall back to what they experienced in their own childhood – that old stand-by, grounding.

This tip takes that notion of grounding and transforms it into a learning and growing experience. 

 Read on to find out more from James Lehman, MSW and his article, “How to Give Consequences So They’ll Stick—Even When Kids Say They Don’t Care” . . .

Don’t Teach Your Child How to “Do Time”
Many parents get frustrated and ground their kids for long periods of time in order to make the punishment stick. Personally, I think that’s a mistake. If you simply ground your child, you’re teaching him to do time—and not to learn anything new. But if you ground him until he accomplishes certain things, you can increase the effectiveness of the consequence by 100 percent.images-5

 I always say to make your consequences task-oriented, not time-oriented. So if your child loses his video game privileges for 24 hours, he should be doing something within that time frame that helps him improve his behavior. Simply grounding him from his video games for a week will just teach him how to wait until he can get them back—not how to behave more appropriately.

Remember, if you ground him for 30 days, you’ve fired your big gun. If you ground him for 24 hours, you still have plenty of leverage. Many parents believe the key to making consequences effective is to get a bigger hammer, but that’s not a sound teaching method.

Again, we want consequences to be learning experiences. A consequence that doesn’t fit the crime will just seem meaningless to your child, and won’t get you the desired result. Remember, you don’t want to be so punitive that your child simply gives up. That will never translate to better behavior.images-12

Thank you so much to James Lehman, MSW, for his insights into how to navigate consequences that matter!

Parents – what’s your experience with giving children consequences that count? I would love to hear your questions, comments, opinions, especially your experiences! Please let me know what you think by clicking here to post a comment.

Posted in discipline children, empowering parents, kids listen to parents, parents, tips for parenting | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Consequences Continued . . .

Does your child ignore every consequence you give him? I am excited to share another tipimages-2 from an article by James Lehman, MSW at Empowering Parents which gives you some specific ways to make consequences work—even for the most resistant child.

Another excerpt from James Lehman, MSW . . .

How to Give Consequences So They’ll Stick—Even When Kids Say They Don’t Care

 When kids are faced with something unpleasant, they’ll often act like it doesn’t matter to them. When your child says, “I don’t care” or seems unaffected when you give him a consequence, what he’s really saying is, “You can’t hurt me.” That’s because receiving a consequence makes kids feel powerless. Their sense of self almost requires them to respond by shrugging and saying, “Whatever,” simply in order to feel in control again.

Focus on what you want your child to learn from the consequence—not whether or not he’s going to care.

Personally, I don’t think parents should worry too much when their child appears not to be affected. Instead, I think you should focus on what you want your child to learn from the consequence—not whether or not he’s going to care. In fact, I think trying to get your child to care is a misdirected goal. Don’t put so much weight on making him “hurt” that you’re not thinking about trying to get your child to learn a new behavior. If your child can stymie you by saying “I don’t care,” you’re giving him way too much power.images-3

Don’t Get Sucked into an Argument over Consequences
Don’t accept every invitation to argue with your child. Understand that he wants you to get upset so he can drag you into a fight.

 Your child also wants to show you that he’s not hurt by the consequence you’ve given him. Believe me, I understand that it’s annoying and frustrating as a parent. Kids will try to push your buttons by saying, “Who cares; whatever.”

 But don’t get sucked into it. Just say, “All right, it’s too bad that you don’t care—that means it’s just going to happen more often.” Then go do something else.

 And remember, while you don’t want to get sucked into a power struggle, you also don’t want to destroy images-14your child’s pride by demeaning him, either—you just want him to stop talking poorly to his sister.

Thank you so much to James Lehman for his insights into navigating consequences that matter!

Parents – what’s your experience with giving children consequences that count? I would love to hear your questions, comments, opinion, especially your experience! Please let me know what you think by clicking here to post a comment.

Posted in discipline children, empowering parents, kids listen to parents, parents, reading strategies, tips for parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Even More On Consequences And How To Make Them Count

How do you discipline your children? Want some tips for parenting? Please continue reading . . . !

Does your child ignore every consequence you give him? I am excited to share another segment of this article,  “How to Give Consequences So They’ll Stick—Even When Kids Say They Don’t Care”, by James Lehman, MSW at Empowering Parents which gives you some specific ways to make consequences work—even for the most resistant child.

Parenting A Child –  Have Problem-Solving Conversations

“Focus on what you want your child to learn from the consequence—not whether or not he’s going to care”.  – James Lehman, MSW

I think it’s vitally important to have problem-solving conversations with your child after an incident has occurred.

When things are going well, you can say, “If you get frustrated with your sister in the future, what can you do differently, other than to call her names? Let’s make a list.” You might help jump start some ideas by saying, “Instead of calling her names, how about going to your room and listening to some music for a few minutes? Could you do that?” And try to help your child come up with his own ideas. He might say, “If she follows me around the house, I’ll go to my room.” You can then say, “All right, why don’t we try that? For the rest of today, if your sister bothers you, pick one thing that you’re going to do from this list and see if it’s helpful.”

Conversations like these are how you get your child to think about alternative solutions other than yelling at his sister, name-calling, or acting out. Look at it this way: we all get frustrated, we all get angry, and we all get anxious. But everyone has to learn to deal with those feelings appropriately—and a problem-solving conversation is the most effective way to talk with your child about change.

Parents – what’s your experience with giving children consequences that count? I would love to hear your questions, comments, opinion, especially your experience! Please let me know what you think by clicking here to post a comment.

Posted in difficult changes, discipline children, empowering parents, kids listen to parents, parents, tips for parenting | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun For The Weekend – Counting MIxed Coins is FUN!

Teaching your child how to count coins?

After learning to recognize the different coins, as well as the name and value of each coin, it’s time to learn how to count them. Here’s where all that fun your child had skip-counting comes in handy!

Need a skip-counting review?  Click here to check out my skip-counting blog!

Using real coins is the best way for your child to learn how to count coins. It’s helpful to have a chart or picture of each side of each coin, as well as the value of each one. Sometimes it takes a bit of time and a lot of practice for the name of value of each coin to become automatic. Quiz your child on the name and value, or have them quiz you and see if they can catch your “mistake”.

Make up a riddle, “I have smooth sides. I am larger than a penny, but smaller than a quarter. What am I?

Then, have your child make a riddle up for you to guess!

It is important that your child have practice counting groups of each coin – practice counting only pennies, then just nickels, move up to counting only dimes. Practice counting quarters last, since this is the most challenging. This helps to cement their recognition of each coin as well as their skip-counting skills.

Parents! Teachers! What’s your opinion? Do you have other ways of practicing skip-counting? I would love to know what you think – please leave a comment below!

Posted in coins in the US, fun with learning, homework tips, learning money, math actvities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tips For Parents – More On Consequences

How do you discipline your children? Want some tips for parenting? Please continue reading . . . !

Does your child ignore every consequence you give him? I am excited to share more tips for parenting from this article,  “How to Give Consequences So They’ll Stick—Even When Kids Say They Don’t Care” by James Lehman, MSW at Empowering Parents which gives you some specific ways to make consequences work—even for the most resistant child.

The following tips focus on how to be effective when giving consequences. Many times parents get stuck in over-explaining the consequence and the behavior.  Sometimes this even gets to the point where parents feel they must justify the consequence to their child.

Wait for a calm moment to talk about the unacceptable behavior and what the consequence will be if they choose to do it again. Letting them know ahead of time means that they are fully informed and will make it easier for you to enforce the consequence.  It is so much better to be able to have that moment in time to refer back to where you talked calmly about the behavior and the consequence.

 It really helps just to keep it simple, no long speeches are necessary, and just know ahead of time that you probably won’t get your child to wholeheartedly agree with you.

 Sometimes kids try to argue or pull you into a long debate about this or that – simply restate the unacceptable behavior and the consequence, and end the debate. There is no need to justify it any further, you are the parent and that means you are in charge. As long as you communicate clearly about the behavior and consequence, there is no need for further debate.

Focus on what you want your child to learn from the consequence—not whether or not he’s going to care. – James Lehman, MSW

Don’t Try To Appeal To His Or Her Emotions With Speeches

Remember, your job is not to get your child to love his sister or to appeal to his emotions with a speech, because all he will hear is, “Your sister looks up to you, blah, blah, blah.” Your job is to take his phone and say, “Hey, we talk to each other nicely around here. And if you can’t do that, then you can’t use the phone. We’ll talk about giving it back to you after you talk nicely to your family for 24 hours.”

Make Consequences Black and White
When you give a consequence, the simpler you keep things, the better. Again, you don’t want to get into legalese or long speeches. What you want to do is lay out your consequences for your child’s inappropriate behavior very clearly. It’s often helpful if he knows ahead of time what will happen when he acts out. Just like there are speeding signs on the highway, the consequences for your child’s behavior should be clear to him. Tell him, “If you talk nastily to your sister, this is what’s going to happen from now on.

And whenever you’re going to introduce an idea to your child that may be unsettling, anxiety-provoking, or frustrating to him, do it when things are going well—not when everybody’s screaming at each other. Wait until a calm moment and then lay out the consequences simply and clearly.

Parents – what’s your experience with giving children consequences that count? I would love to hear your questions, comments, opinions, and especially about your experience! Please let me know what you think by posting a comment below.

Posted in discipline children, empowering parents, kids listen to parents, parents | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun For The Weekend – Learning How To Count Coins is FUN!

As always, music is an exciting way to learn anything – so here’s a catchy tune about coins in the US!

Counting money is an important skill that we begin focusing on in first grade. Learning about skip-counting is crucial before learning how to count coins; a student can’t even begin to think about counting coins before learning how to skip-count by 5’s and 10’s. For more on this, click here to check out my skip-counting blog.

When helping your child learn how to count coins, start with the basics. Using real coins, as opposed to plastic play money, will show your child the similarities and differences between each coin. Utilize your child’s sense of touch and ask how each coin feels. Is it rough, bumpy, or smooth? How about the edges? Are some of them bumpy and others smooth? Are some larger or heavier? Make sure that they get a chance to look at both sides  –  it’s always fun to get out a magnifying glass and let them explore the little details that are often overlooked.

Can they find the tiny statue of Lincoln on the penny?

Tell your child the name of each coin and have them repeat it back to you. Make it fun – point to each one but at random. Sometimes I point to the same one several times in a row, then suddenly switch to another coin. Or begin moving my finger towards one, then at the last minute shift to a different coin. Have your child be the “teacher” and you be the “kid”! They get to point and you can throw in an incorrect answer to see if they can catch your “mistake”.  Anything to make it more FUN!

Parents! Teachers! What’s your opinion? Do you have other ways of teaching kids about coins? I would love to know what you think – please leave a comment below!

Posted in games of math, make homework fun, math actvities, math for kids, motivating students | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment