Consequences Aren’t Always Punishments
So many conversations between parents and children now involve the word consequences. There will be consequences later for that action, behavior, choice. Consequences aren’t always punishments and certainly aren’t always bad. Laura Numeroff wrote two of the best books, ever, about consequences; the first, If You Give a Mouse A Cookie and the next, If You Give a Moose a Muffin. If anything, the consequences are unexpectedly humorous.
The books are so lyrical, they are really free verse poetry. The illustrations are so funny, they are almost comic books.
The idea that actions have consequences is powerful, not always what you might imagine, but as certain as night follows day, consequences follow actions. We have both of these books.
Laura Numeroff has written five more books beginning with If in the title and several others. I imagine they also are full of unexpected consequences. Since the word consequence had the potential for turning into a scary word, we had consequences for good results. The consequence for extra good school work in addition to learning, might be a physical reward of a ball, marbles or soccer equipment. The consequence of learning basketball free throws in addition to helping you master a skill, might be a music reward, perhaps a new song and the consequence of mastering a new piece on the piano might be a new book. The point is always mixing it up, keeping three different goals balanced, education, sports and music. If your child wants more sports equipment, excelling in school or music could work as a trigger. If your child studies wonderfully, the consequences for that could be more sports or music rewards. Consequences don’t have to be monetarily oriented rewards, choosing the next channel on the car radio, the next box of breakfast cereal, the game for family game night, after dinner softball or soccer, a bedtime story or a chapter in a book, are all possibilities. Parenting is all about balance.