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#1 of 5 Old 10-12-2014, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting Question.

Try not to criticise this post but, I would like to know, how many of you on here want your child/children to learn from natural consequences?

I let DD learn most but MAKE her fasten up her jacket if it is raining heavily and especially in winter due to fact that I don't want her getting cold and soaking wet and have extra washing to do.

She was on a guides camp earlier this summer and had to learn a certain natural consequence which annoyed DD and especially me. The girls were going on a hike but Erin(7) didn't take a jacket just "because her friends didn't" but she didn't realise that it was cold and, after a while, it started to chuck down with rain. After about a minute of rain starting, the leader said to Erin "put your jacket on, its pouring", Erin softly replied "It is in tent", leader was shocked and firmly said "we asked you to take a jacket in your backpack, well, its your fault, you are going to get soaked, let that be a lesson to you, I trusted you to bring everything we asked in your bag!".

She had packed everything else she was asked to but leader still made an older girl look after her which Erin didn't think was needed.
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#2 of 5 Old 10-13-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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My DD never liked wearing a coat, she is warm blooded. As much as it frustrated me, I would just let her experience the natural consequences but she usually didn't get sick or have any problems. At school they insist upon raincoats if it's raining and they want to play outside the covered area.

In the case of the guides thing, it is a little different. It sounds like the leader was a bit annoyed with your DD as if she was the only one who didn't bring her jacket. In general, in a big group, there are rules to make everyone's life easier, so it would be important for her to follow the rules if she's going to participate. Bringing a raincoat seems like a reasonable request - will it help her remember next time? From your posts, it sounds like you are concerned about her in a broader sense aside from the jacket issues.

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#3 of 5 Old 10-14-2014, 10:35 AM
 
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My kid doesn't have to wear a coat. But that is because he doesn't complain of being cold and doesn't harm himself with his choices; therefore, I can trust him to make his own decisions about appropriate dress for the weather.

I do sometimes insist that he bring a coat if we will be out for an extended period with no shelter and/or I think the weather's going to change. Other times I will bring an extra layer for him just for my own peace of mind--this usually means that I have to carry it--and almost always he never ends up wearing it.

I think the camp leader was correct to let Erin learn from the natural consequence of her decision. I used to be a Girl Scout leader, and that was my approach, although I did try not to sound angry or blaming about it but just to state calmly that this is the reason we told you to bring a jacket, and since you did not bring a jacket you are going to be cold and wet, because we are not going back to the tent now.

I don't think it was necessary to put an older girl in charge of her; in fact, that actually undermines her ability to learn from the experience going forward because it puts the older girl in charge of the decision instead of giving Erin the opportunity to choose wisely next time on her own.

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#4 of 5 Old 10-14-2014, 12:06 PM
 
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I agree that the misstep in the situation was not the natural consequence, but putting another girl in charge of her to make sure it didn't happen again, which negates the lesson. And it also sounds like the counselor might have reacted angrily, which is neither necessary nor helpful and also undermines the lesson.


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#5 of 5 Old 10-14-2014, 12:18 PM
 
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To answer your question, DS is only just shy of 4, but natural consequences do come into play quite a bit. I don't really think of it as such; I mostly just make an effort to allow him to use his own judgement, within reason given his age, and then hang back and see what he decides. I can see from A to B quickly, but he can't yet, and I think it's important that he get practice making those connections by himself. We don't live in a cold climate, but this morning it was about 55 when he went outside. He was completely nude and I didn't stop him or suggest he put on clothes. He came back in immediately and asked for a jacket. Sometimes, depending on the kid, even the mild, polite suggestion of what you think they should do invites a power struggle, where they might grit their teeth and bear the cold (or whatever) just to avoid proving you right.

The situation that comes up more often in our house is DS gearing up to do something wildly unsafe. But I can usually see him stop to think about something before he does it, and if it really concerns me, I'll ask him if he feels safe doing whatever it is he's about to do. And sometimes he gets hurt, and that's okay.


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