By Neil Anderson

September 10

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Proverbs 23:13
Do not hold back discipline from the child

Some children are effectively disciplined when they must experience the natural consequences of their disobedience. For example, if your child fools around and misses his bus at school, you may choose to let him walk home instead of picking him up yourself. If he procrastinates on a school project you have urged him to complete, let him receive a bad grade instead of bailing him out by doing the project yourself. For many children the pain of the natural consequence is enough to prompt a change in behavior the next time. Strong-willed children may respond best to this means of discipline. They often have to learn the hard way.

Use wisdom when employing this method. Some natural consequences may be too severe when other methods of discipline could be used. For example, making a child walk home from school alone may not be advisable in dangerous neighborhoods or bad weather.

Sometimes you may want to plan a negative consequence that is logically related to your child’s misbehavior. Logical consequences are effective because they teach children to be responsible. For example, if your child carelessly spills his milk, a logical consequence is for him to clean up the mess.

Logical consequences help avoid power struggles between the child and parent. They can also greatly reduce nagging, correction and spanking. When your child completes the consequence, the incident is over, and hopefully he has learned to avoid the problem in the future.

Using natural consequences for discipline may require some extra work on your part. For example, you may need to teach your child how to use a sponge mop, operate the washing machine, etc. Don’t look for the easiest method of discipline; look for the best. What may be convenient may not be correct. What works best for one child may not work well for another. Logical consequences teach cause and effect and can be used as a positive reinforcer.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grant me the wisdom to discipline my children for their future good as You discipline me for my good.

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1 reply

  1. Hi,
    From a retired teacher and mom’s point of view, this post was very timely. School has started and classroom behaviors are getting worse with each passing year. I worked at a school that employed a discipline plan called Love and Logic. Parents are invited to learn the techniques as well as ALL of the school staff. It is worth looking into or doing a Google search.

Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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