Originally Posted by flower01
I see a lot of natural and logical consequences talk on this board so I'm curious. Who follows Kohn's advice...and do you just pick the things you agree with and still use these consequences? Or do you use logical consequences and completely disagree with Kohn's methods?
I just always assumed from this board that the whole idea of natural consequences and gentle discipline was supported by Kohn since this book is recommended so often.
Let me start with my caveat: I like some of Kohn's ideas, but I think there is a place for both natural and logical consequences. I disagree that they're always bad. I do think it's worthwhile to think about the consequences and whether you are just punishing the child.
Also, there is often confusion about "natural" vs. "logical" consequences. The natural consequence of not wearing a raincoat when it's raining is that you get wet. Living in Oregon, my kids have experienced this enough to be able to decide for themselves whether a raincoat is worth it. Often they choose a hoodie and it gets damp.
A logical consequence is one that's related, but imposed by the parent. This would be something like "You choose not to wear a raincoat, so you can't go outside."
I try to save logical consequences for things where the natural consequence is not something I'm willing to have my kids experience. The natural consequence of bending down to see if a firework is lit is that it blows up in your face. The natural consequence of riding your scooter in bare feet is that you scrape the skin off your toes. The natural consequence of my very fair children going to the beach without sunscreen is a horrible sunburn and an increased risk of melanoma in later life. For these, I will impose logical consequence. You can't keep your face away from the fireworks that are being lit? You get to sit on my lap or stay indoors. You aren't wearing shoes with your scooter? The scooter gets put away for a bit. You won't put sunscreen on? We stay home.
Some of my response depends too on the developmental level of the child. A 3-4 year old (or younger) is not capable of thinking ahead. All they know is that they don't need an umbrella now
so why take it? 2 or 3 year olds often need to experience cold before they understand the need for a jacket. For a child this age, I would simply make sure I pack whatever it is.
On the other hand, my 9 year old is perfectly capable of understanding "the weather is predicting rain. Do you want to take a raincoat or bring an umbrella?" If he then chooses not to, it's his choice. I would, mostly likely, share my umbrella with him if I had one, or find a dry spot as soon as we could. But if I were wearing my raincoat, my older child had refused to take one, I'm not going to buy him an umbrella because he was too lazy to carry his coat. If he has the money, he can buy his own umbrella, I don't care. If not, he will get to experience the natural consequence of getting wet. I'll 't help him get dry if I can. If he can't get dry, we might have to go home early if he's cold and wet. This isn't punishment, it's the reality of choosing not to bring your coat.
What I wouldn't do is rub his nose in it -- "see if you'd just brought your raincoat, you wouldn't be wet and cold and we wouldn't have to go home".
Originally Posted by mamazee
I guess the short version of that is that there are a lot of different ideas and perspectives within GD. I think this place (MDC in general and this subforum) is useful in that you get a wider perspective when hearing what people from all over the GD spectrum would do, and that can help when trying to figure out what is the right answer in some very specific circumstance.
I agree. I'm on the more mainstream side of GD. I've used timeouts when my kids need separation or when they've hit. I tried Consentual Living for about a week before I realized that I could not do it. It doesn't fit my personality, and it doesn't match my understanding of child development. At the same time, I don't punish. I try to use consequences sparingly.
Originally Posted by MommyDOK
But, here's the rub in our house. My 7 yr old is CONSTANTLY losing things....library books, her special stuffed animal of the day, her wallet, her backpack, her shoes. All of those things have a designated home (hanging rack by door for backpack and purse/wallet, shoe bin, library book bin etc), so I feel I have provided an area for her, but she chooses not to return her things to said area. BUT, when she is looking for them, she takes two seconds and then says, "Mommy, where are my shoes?"
Me:"I dont know. Did you check the bin?"
DD: "They're not in there. WIll you help me find them?"
So then I can do one of two things----help her, or tell her no, bc I find them for her every single day and I"m frustrated that I give her a home for them, and yet she still misplaces them all the time. So if I dont' help her find them, she always says, "You're mean".
I second the suggestion that you talk to her. Let her know you're irritated and ask what would work for her.
A couple of other ideas: There was a point about a year ago where we were dealing with this, and I imposed a consequence: For every 5 minutes I spend helping you find things that have a home, I get 5 minutes of extra chore time from you. I think I actually enforced this once. Mostly it was a way to make tangible to my kids the fact that I had to drop what I was doing to help them and I was irritated. I'm sure this isn't UP.
My sister used to have 'finding time' at their house. A designated 5-10 minutes where they rounded up things that get lost - coats, shoes, backpacks and the like. I don't remember if they did it every day or just as needed. (Things definitely got lost at their house - once my niece arrived at the airport (a 2 hour drive from their house) and my sister realized that she had no shoes on! Luckily, they found an old pair of boots in the backseat of the car, and were able to get on the plane and then buy shoes later.)