Originally Posted by Silliest
>> I really try hard to think of natural consequences instead. <<
If you have to think about it, it's not a natural consequence.
If you have to work really hard at it, it's not even a logical consequence.
jump in the puddle > get wet feet is an example of a natural consequence.
anything that requires parental intervention... isn't.
But there are definitely times that do require parental intervention. And, sometimes, my kneejerk reaction is to yell (I guess that's a natural consequence of pushing mama's buttons too much, but not one I choose to inflict on my child). So, if one kid is picking on the other, the natural/logical/call it whatever you like consequence is that they need to play separately for a time.
And, Ellien, you are correct. It was unclear writing. I was not trying to say that my use of time out was the natural consequence. That would be more of what I would call a punishment. But I guess I like it better than, say, yelling or spanking, because it gives everybody an opportunity to regroup, take a break, and try again. It doesn't shame or humiliate anybody. Just removes them from the situation.
I should also note that I really only make issues with my kids over things that they are doing to each other or the dog. The 19 month old is still learning that some things hurt, so she needs to be supervised and told over and over and over that she may only use gentle touches with the dog, and that eyes aren't for touching, and no, you may not stick your fingers up his nose (he's an amazing animal, and has never even curled a lip at them). When it gets to the point where I think she is simply trying to test limits and isn't just being exuberant, I will send the dog somewhere else where he can be safe. She doesn't get punished, just isn't able to play with the dog.
It gets a little more complicated when the two kids aren't getting along because they both want to be near me, and if Emily is not being gentle with Katie, it isn't fair to her to send her away like I do the dog. She has occasionally elected on her own to go to her room and shut the door if she wants to be alone.
I don't worry about things like what they choose to wear for the day, if they eat a meal with the family or even cleaning up toys for the day. It just isn't worth it to me. As a result we have a fairly peaceful family.
I hope this makes more sense.