Friday Favourites: The One With The Consequences


Friday Favourites: The One With The Consequences

The One With The Consequences


Today’s Friday Favourites is all about consequences.

I am a fair parent.  I am also a transparent one.  I will lay out the ground rules MULTIPLE times, and reiterate them a thousand times, and then the kids get warnings.  Just three of them.  And after that – the consequence.

It’s a tried and true method for me.

I am a firm believer that children have short memories, and that they need to be told of our expectations.  So before EVERY outing, like I said above, I lay out the ground rules.  I tell them my expectations and EXACTLY what we are going to do.  I take them through it multiple times.

There’s ALWAYS a few hiccups, but for the most part it’s smooth (ish) sailing.

A couple of times, we’ve left where we were because they weren’t listening.  Or they were screaming.  Or they were demanding.  If I say there will be a consequence – I will follow through.

This time, my daughter, I’m sure, felt her world was over.

Ground rules laid: no screaming, no yelling, no fighting.  And you MUST listen to me.  If all of the above were roughly adhered to, then there would be a treat at the end (which was a Kinder Surprise).

All good until we got to Kmart, then shit hit the fan.

The kids stopped listening. The warnings started coming.  I could see the tantrums brewing.  I’d found a couple of extra treats for them from Kmart that were on special (they didn’t know I secretly put them in the trolley), but at that point they weren’t having anything extra.  Instead of telling them at that moment, when they would melt down in front of everyone, I saved it.

We got to the car, they got their Kinder Surprises.  I then broke the news:

“I actually got you a present but because no one listened to me at the end (and I did warn you) we’re not having that present anymore.  I’m throwing it in the rubbish bin”

Cue the biggest meltdown I’ve EVER seen from my 4 year old.  She cried HARD for 20 minutes, all the way home.  She sobbed.  We talked – I explained to her that I told her there would be consequences if she didn’t listen.  She didn’t even know what I had gotten her, it was just the thought of losing something.

This was the first time she’d really experienced something like this.  Going home is one thing, but losing a present was literally the end of the world for her.

She said sorry several times, but I explained to her that “Saying sorry is a wonderful thing, and I accept it, but you need to listen to me next time”.

“Saying sorry will not bring back the present” … because if I gave her the present, she wouldn’t have learned anything.

She doesn’t know this but I didn’t throw the present in the rubbish bin.  I put it in the wardrobe. But I wasn’t about to tell her that.

She needs to learn that I mean business.  And I follow through.

Now when I go out, I say “remember when you lost the presents because you didn’t listened?” … and she has gotten a bit better.

Sorry this was so long guys – just wanted to get this experience out.  I may not have been the perfect parent in that moment, and it might not have been the “right” thing to do – but I did it.  And I’m happy I did it – she needs to learn that saying SORRY doesn’t fix it.  Children need to learn that listening is important and if they don’t listen, there will be a consequence.



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Happy Mum Happy Child


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