There are many theories on parenting, experts teach consequence parenting or attachment parenting. These are great deliberate parenting styles, but really, whether we like it or not, we are always teaching our children that actions have consequences. Parents may not even realize that every thing they do, every reaction they have, teaches our children “cause and effect”.
Johnny had a bad day and has a tantrum in the grocery store. Innocently enough, Mom panics, feels embarrassed and buys Johnny a chocolate bar. Lesson learned, I scream – I get a chocolate bar, I’ll have to try that again soon !
Unfortunately kids are learning some messed up consequences these days.
- I lose my phone, mom buys me a new one
- I fail my math test, dad writes a nasty note to the teacher
- I miss the bus, I get door to door car service to school
- I don’t pick up my backpack from daycare, my parents carry it for me
- I don’t clean my room, it gets cleaned somehow (mom?)
- I don’t eat my dinner, I get better stuff an hour later
- I forget my homework at home, my parents will deliver it
- I scream and run around a restaurant, dad says, “hey stop that”
- I continue screaming in the restaurant, dad says “hey stop that”
- I continue screaming in the restaurant, dad gives up and ignores me
- I don’t do my homework, I still get to watch TV
- I whine and sulk, my mom lets me have whatever I want
- I get drunk and come home late, my parents nag
- I tell my parents off, life goes on, no consequence
Wake up parents, it is your job to prepare your children for the real world, a world where speeders get tickets. If you don’t go to work, you get fired and if you are late, you miss the train or plane. You are not doing your child any favours by not teaching him realistic cause and effect. Do your job, it may seem harsh, but in the end, they will become responsible adults who know actions have consequences.