• Jessica Diaz


Updated: Dec 5, 2019

young boy considering consequences

In today’s post, we're going to answer these 4 questions:

  • What are consequences?

  • Why should I give my kids consequences?

  • How do I know when to give my kids consequences?

  • How do I actually go about giving consequences to my kids?

Plus, we’ll go over:

The 5 Steps for Giving Consequences

What are consequences?

Consequences are what happens as the result of a choice or action. So, your kids do something you would consider a bad behavior, then they get a consequence for that choice.

Why should I give my kids consequences?

Consequences help kids mature by teaching them responsibility and helping them to avoid entitlement. They help us teach our kids to do age-appropriate tasks. Kids need to learn to do their part and add to the good of the group (whether that group be a family, a class, or a community).

How do I know when to give my kids consequences?

New Skills

If your kids are learning a new skill…from potty training to putting their plates in the sink…you may want to go with an incentive instead of a punishment. One great way to do this is to use a sticker chart. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be stickers, if your kids feel they’re too old for that sort of thing.

It’s really just a chart that makes note of when they’ve completed a certain task. Then, once they have done that task a certain number of times, they get a reward. The reward would be different depending on what your kids like and what you’re comfortable with. It could be anything from a toy from the dollar section at target to a Nintendo switch video game.

Once your kids have had a chance to develop the new skill, you can set it as an expectation. Then, if they start slacking off, you can enact consequences.

A Pattern of Bad Behavior

If your kids do something wrong every now and again, it may be enough to just talk to them.

But, if your kiddos start to repeat bad behaviors; it’s time to step in. Consequences can be a great way to help them make good choices.

How should I go about giving consequences to my kids?

1.) Make consequences known from the start.

If you notice a negative behavior has become a pattern, address it. Let you kid know that you have noticed the negative pattern and what the consequence will be for that choice. Then, stick with it.

2.) Make consequences relate to the choice as much as possible.

Example: You always have to remind your kid to put his things away. So, if your kid doesn’t put his things away without you reminding him, he has to do additional cleaning. (Psst….remember not to get carried away with consequences. You don’t want to have your kid clean the house, your car, and the dog just because he forgot to push in his chair.)

3.) Try to keep your cool

Choices that result out of fear of a parent’s anger are short lived. We want lasting results! So, keep your cool and follow through.

4.) Remember to praise growth

If you notice your kid doing something good, especially if he has turned a negative behavior around, give him some positive feedback. It helps kids when you notice their progress.

5.) Rewards are okay from time to time

If your kid as been exceptional or just really gone above and beyond your expectations, it’s okay to give her a reward. Just be sure to let her know that it’s a result of her positive choices.

Check out this chart for a great visual on how to actually put consequences into action in your kids' lives:

chart listing expected behavior and consequences


If you want help teaching your kids about consequences, check out my YouTube video below:

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