Rebecca - posted on 07/26/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )
i know this is supposed to be a really good parenting technique but i don't seem to understand it properly. i have a really hard time thinking what natural consequences are/ should be for certain things (there's many example, but i'll stick to two below). and there are certain times i find it hard to implement as well (last paragraph of the post).
is the idea that if there are no natural consequences to disobedience that you shouldn't be imposing a behaviour in the 1st place? e.g. i don't want my kids jumping on the beds and sofas because it is bad for the furniture, but i can't think of a natural consequence to them that is negative to them, so i battle to stop the behaviour (and yes i have endlessly told them that we need to look after our things so that they last, but the trampolining temptation overcomes them). so what am i missing; i don't get it?
another one is that my youngest has a mop of curly hair that gets really tangled. she wants in long and her father (who i'm not in a relationship with any longer) also does not want me to cut it (it's so beautiful i don't really want to either). however, most mornings is a battle to get her to let me brush her hair. the natural consequence is ... well sticking, knotty messy hair, but she doesn't care about that ... however her preschool DOES and they insist hair must be neat and tied up. i cannot think how to resolve the hair issue, and have resorted to a 'bribe' (which is something i never wanted to do). the 'bribe' is that she is really into acquiring numeracy at the moment and loves counting to work out basic sums, so i tell her she can sit with her numeracy book and we can do 'maths' while i brush her hair. at the moment this secures co-operation ... is this bad?? it makes my life easier in the short term but i worry about the long term consequences.... er... the natural consequences...
secondly, when i can think of a natural consequence it works really well with my 7 year old, but not with my 3 (going on 4) year old. if i state natural consequences to the 3 year old (e.g. if you don't get dressed for school you will have to go to school in your pyjamas) she gets absolutely hysterical and impossible about EVERYTHING. whereas if she doesn't want to get ready and i wait a few minutes without saying anything, she usually comes round of her own accord.
please help, i live in a 3rd world country and books are hard to come by and i don't understand this technique too well!