“I don’t care!”
“Do what you want.”
“Fine, if you say so.”
Do you hear such replies from your kid when you discipline them for their inappropriate behavior? You may be a little bit alarmed by the way your kid reacts, and it may make you feel like the disciplinary action applied is not effective. Don’t worry! There might be effective ways in disciplining your child right and getting him or her back on track.
What can you read in this article?
- Why does my child does not care about consequences of inappropriate behavior?
- Effects of not disciplining your child
- Effective tips for kids and their behavior
Kids and consequences can be tricky, but it is possible for you to find and apply the right
My child does not care about consequences of inappropriate behavior
What disciplining methods have you made and are they really effective? You might have used “face the wall” or “no phone for a week”, but your child has completely ignored it or never seem to care.
This doesn’t mean that your child never cares at all, or that you are not an effective parent. It might be that your discipline measure doesn’t match with your child.
According to Christi Campbell, a board-certified behavior analyst, when your kid doesn’t seem to care about discipline, it suggests that there’s a mismatch between the purpose for the disciplining and the disciplining provided. You must ensure that the consequence you establish works in your favor rather than against you. Take a minute to consider what you’re doing and who you’re working with before applying penalties impulsively.
Also, reflect on your main goal of disciplining your child, is it meant to punish them or is it meant to teach them through consequences of inappropriate behavior?
Consequence vs Punishment
You might need to know the difference between a consequence and a punishment before re-strategizing on how you will discipline your child. A punishment means seeking to get back and making it “even” while consequence means seeking to train with a purpose.
Moreover, punishments make children NOT do something while consequences make children work towards something. Lastly, punishments address the inappropriate behavior while consequences show the expected future behavior will be rewarding.
Kids and consequences: What can you do when consequences don’t work as a form of discipline? | Image source: File photo
Check how you make the consequences
Maybe they don’t mind because your consequence isn’t truly a consequence at all. Threats aren’t the same as consequences. For example, when your child keeps on butting in when adults are speaking to each other, you don’t say, “I am tired of telling you not to talk and butt in when adults are speaking! You will not have your phone back for 2 weeks!”. Instead, you say, “That’s now how you should behave. You can only have your phone back if you learn to respect the adults and wait for your turn before speaking up.”
This shows your main purpose in setting consequences: was it to “get back” at them, or was it to teach them a lesson?
Be consistent, if it doesn’t work, change the consequences
Make the consequences consistent. If it doesn’t work the first time, try it again. Always. Your kid needs to understand that if they act in a specific way, they will always get in trouble. They might think that this consequence is just a one-time thing, as a result, they will likely act up again and make the same mistake.
Thus, make sure that the consequences have a follow-through. Continue giving them the same consequences to ensure that it’s effective. They will soon understand that a certain inappropriate behavior entails a consequence.
Try positive reinforcement
According to Lucie Cluver, Oxford University professor of Child and Family Social Work and mother of two young boys, screaming and hitting is not effective and, in the long run, can cause more harm than good. Moreover, continued “toxic stress” can have a variety of harmful consequences, including an increased risk of school dropout, depression, drug use, suicide, and heart disease.
Instead of focusing on punishment and what not to do, the positive discipline approach emphasizes a good relationship with your child and setting behavioral expectations.
Try creating positive reinforcement as consequence. Praise them and let them know they are seen especially in positive situations. For example, when you see them sharing their toys with their friends or siblings, compliment them for being generous and kind to others.
This way, your child will understand that sharing and being kind is good and rewarding behavior.
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Effects of not disciplining your child
Kids and consequences: Non-violent methods of discipline are more effective in the long run.
So what if I do or don’t discipline my child? Well, discipline is not just good for your children or your relationship with them, it is essentially significant for their overall wellbeing and development.
Failure to discipline children often results in unhappy, angry, and resentful individuals. They may also be unpleasant company and may have difficulty making friends.
For example, in school-age children, knowing what’s good and bad behavior helps them navigate better through relationships and challenges in school and outside of the home. This will teach them to better manage their behavior and negative impulses, especially when you’re no longer around to reprimand and remind them.
When your child has been taught right from wrong and has a firm grasp on what constitutes negative and positive behavior, they will recognize when they have made a mistake. Moreover, they will choose to behave properly because they want to be a decent citizen, family member, and part of society. It will no longer be about fearing punishment or consequences because you have already instilled good values in them through discipline.
Discipling your child promotes good traits
With effective and consistent disciplining, your child grows to be a better person not just at home but wherever they may be.
- They will become more responsible and will enjoy being helpful and nice to other people at home, in school, and in the community.
- They will have an easier time making friends and maintaining relationships.
- They will be accountable for their mistakes and will know how to make up for them.
- They will likely make good choices because they know what’s right and wrong through effective consequences in disciplining.
- They will be more confident, knowing that you will still love them despite their mistakes. They will be able to acknowledge these mistakes, learn from them, and be better sons and daughters who their parents love and care for.
Effective tips for kids and Consequences Combo
Kids and consequences | Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels
1. Consistency of Application
It is frustrating to hear your child say “I don’t care!” with a teeny smirk on his face when you tell him there are consequences for his behavior.
Just because a child acts like he does not mind the consequences, does not really mean that your discipline is ineffective. Sometimes, your child will hide the fact that he is upset, and it bothers him to lose his privileges.
What will be the best thing to do in this situation? Stick to your guns. Consistently implement the consequence and observe. Pay less attention to what he says. Instead, focus on his actions afterward. He will be discouraged from doing the same mistake again.
Tip: Is the misbehavior repeated? If yes, you need to apply Plan B and step up your game! Find a more applicable consequence.
2. Right Type of Consequence
A time-out might work if your child is still calm. But giving one to a hysterical child might not be effective. Little ones have feelings too, and sometimes, it just takes a little loving and heart-to-heart talk instead of scrapping playtime, or putting them in a corner to “think.”
Use their power of thinking! Cut out your discipline according to your child’s needs.
Tip: Try applying positive reinforcement! Reward good behavior that you want to see more often.
3. Time Frame for Consequences
It is wise to apply consequences as soon as misbehavior occurs. A typical sibling rivalry fight can be an example. Reconciliation should be done immediately to teach your kids the value of saying sorry to each other.
The duration of consequences is also key. Is it reasonable to take away her gadget for a month? Is it effective to make him face the wall for an hour? It is said that consequences that drag on for too long may make the benefits of behaving less interesting.
Make the consequence too harsh and your kids may lose interest in proper behavior. Make it short and they will miss the lesson that you are trying to teach. Remember to implement the consequences in a time-smart way while considering the level of your child’s maturity.
Your kids are unique individuals, so make sure to keep their differences in mind. There are different ways to discipline a child and there will be different consequences that you can apply.
Try different kids and consequences combinations, and see on which can help you guide your child to the right path!