Children Misbehave, that’s never going to change. But many people continue to ask, “what are the main types of consequences for children that are misbehaving?”
To get to the bottom of the reason for disobediance you have to first understand why your child is misbehaving and which logical consequence or punishment to use.
Children who misbehaviour are usually craving some type of attention, whether that’s from you or someone else it can be broken down to a plea or call for help in some shape or form.
Looking for a list of consequences for misbehavior? or consequences for bad behavior at school? scroll down
Children can sometimes find it difficult to express why or what they want (at any age) and this can transpire into negative behaviour or misbehaviour. The first thing to do is to put yourself into your child shoes and really brainstorms what the underlying problem could be.
To answer this question, “what are the main types of consequences for children that are misbehaving?“, It’s important to first understand what type of behaviour you are dealing with:
Is the misbehaving due to a single event or an on-going one?
Can the misbehaviour be attributed to the way someone else has treated them? or is it an isolated one-off event?
Is it a recurring theme happening at a particular event or is it more random?
By asking these questions and really getting into the shoes of your child you can better highlight the problem areas and get a better grasp of the entire situation from another view. Empathy is always key here and sometimes thinking about what your child is not saying can help.
Related: Top Ten Punishments That Work
Try not to go over the top and search for unbalanced consequences for misbehaviour. Parenting author Madelyn Swift urges her readers to take precaution: “If the consequence isn’t glaringly obvious, then it’s probably not the right strategy”
The consequences of behaviour must not outweigh the behaviour itself and this can sometimes be a bit tricky to get right. Also what types of punishments you give out can have a severe long term effect on your child behaviour especially if it is quite a harsh one
WHAT ARE THE MAIN TYPES OF CONSEQUENCES FOR CHILDREN THAT ARE MISBEHAVING?
Consequences when children are rude to other children:
- Removal from the playdate or playgroup, they now have to play somewhere else.
- Set up an argument table (I know sounds a bit odd) but it’s a safe environment for both parties to get their point across. Children can communicate with other children about their problem and this can release more tension and diffuse the situation in a calmer way.
- Use the helpful sandwich. First, the child must say what they like about that other child, then what they don’t like and then again what they do like. It works very well to diffuse the situation
Consequences when your child isn’t listening:
- Time out: These work well, but have them structured and set limits (usually 1 minute per years old so for a 4-year-old give him a 4 minute time out, 3-year-old – 3 minutes etc) Ensure it’s out of interaction with other children and toys
- Loss of privilege. “No More Dessert After Dinner!” (Works like a charm)
- Early Naps, or Early Bed Time. This can work well as many children are often emotionally overloaded in and around the bedtime routine so this could help you both get well-earned rest sooner.
- Take away a toy. Again this is a great way to effectively parent without much fuss. Children always have favourite toys, but the key is not to start at their most desire ‘teddy bear’. Work backwards on a 3-stage system. “Do you want me to take your train away?” if the behaviour carries on, then resort to step ‘ok I’ve taken the train away, Do you want me to take your toy car away?’ By the time you get to the 3rd toy, your child will be able to tell you mean business and it will be a better exhibition of your discipline and ability to follow through on what you say.
Consequences of fighting naps or bedtime:
- Earlier Bed time. You can interplay it with an earlier nap time out as well
- No books at bedtime or no toys in the bath. This one is a bit different from the above punishment for kids as it’s in addition to what your child will usually do anyway. Instead just take a toy away or no books is a smarter way to incorporate a punishment within your normal routine.
- Repetition. This one works well, but can be exhausting, you have to keep repeating one key phrase over and over again until you bore them into submission.
Consequences for a tantrum or fit:
- Removal from the area. If you are out, then you should remove them from the park, or restaurant and talk with them 1 – 1 in a safe and quiet place. Children tend to act out more when other people are around and they are overloaded with stimulation. Remove the stimulation and the child should calm down
- Let them cry it out. Find a safe place that you can observe and tell your child to go ‘ Cry it out’ sometimes there is not much else you can do. If the tantrum has gone from stage 1 – stage 10 in a matter of seconds, chances are the tantrum is not related to whatever small issue just happened. For example “My sister just bit my apple!” If you get a massive fit because of it, you know the issue wasn’t the apple being bitten but his sister had been tormenting her brother all day. In that case, it’s best to let him vent his emotions in a safe and constructive place. Once he finished he’ll be in a more receptive state to disciple
- Send them to their room. This is a more simple punishment for kids and the works well as a consequence for kids who are older (don’t need direct supervision) Giving them space is a great way to clear the air and can sometimes help a child cool down and see a different perspective once they have returned.
Consequences for misbehaviour in public:
- Forfeiting an event. Sometimes it’s important that children remember who is boss. If you have a planned event and your child is just not settling down and is behaving in inappropriate ways then the best thing to do is for them to miss the event. This can especially be a good learning point if someone else your child knows is going. Then they can either observe from a distance with you (i.e. not being able to go into the park) or you can explain to them what has happened at home. Children quick learners and missing out on a crucial event or playtime will be enough to deter and discourage them from doing it again
- Job time, this works well for older children as well. If they misbehave in public then simply tell them that they have added 1 JOB to the CHORE list. This can be enough to deter them from doing it again. At the very least it will get them to stop and think about their next move and the best you’ll have a clean kitchen later on in the day!
- No dessert. This can be as much as you want it to be, but smaller things work well. If children are used to getting sweets on the trip to the supermarket then denying them of that could be enough to get them back on the straight and narrow
Consequences of Lying:
- Find out who lied and who didn’t and then give out punishments from least server to most servers depending on the perpetrator or perpetrators. I.e. 1 punishment for lying and another more severe punishment for breaking the mug.
- Be empathetic but stern. You probably already know who did what (especially if you have just the 1 child then it’s irrefutable evidence) but give your child the chance to come clean. Every moment is a learning moment and a one-time liar can easily be turned back on a truthful path with a little encouragement.
- Give them the chance to come clean. ‘ I want you to go next door and think about what you’ve done and then when I call you back tell me exactly what happened’ This Is a great way to promote autonomy and giving your child some clear space will help.
- Nothing is personal and children don’t want to tell lies.
I used to ask my toddler in the most unfriendly tone ‘ Have you just pooed in your nappy’ expecting he would tell me ‘Yes’. Eventually, he figured out by my tone, expressions and body language that I really didn’t want him to have pooed in his nappy as he should be using the potty’ Do you think he would tell me the truth? Not one bit! He attributed going poo in his nappy as a deed that was wrong so when I asked he would always lie. It makes perfect sense; he doesn’t want to see me upset so he would tell me what I wanted to hear. Remember lying is a developmental milestone and it’s a healthy part of growing up.
Consequences of prolonged activity, taking too long and procrastination
- Start to prioritise your day. Put chores first and remind your children why they are doing the boring stuff first and what needs to happen for them to do the fun things first.
- Use a timer – If your child hasn’t finished the task by a realistic time frame then they will get another task to do that is harder. Have this progressively get harder and then have a really arduous task at the end. Something they really hate doing. In that way, you have a progressive scale to work with. This can work very well especially for more advanced children
Consequences of fighting over toys
- Take the toy away. Here you can create simple rules on sharing. I.e. “it’s your turn for 2 minutes then your sisters turn for 2 minutes”
- Give the child a timeout alone with the toy (only works if they prefer to play together with other children)
- Give both children a new toy, This can work well when no-one wants to share the toy and you can’t come to an acceptable solution
The key here is really to pick your battles wisely, you’re never going to win them all and you shouldn’t want to. Expression is a fundamental element to a healthy and proactive chid. This will help their mind develop in the future and give them a cutting edge amongst the rest. You have to know when to be firm yet polite and flexible yet stern. It’s not one size fits all and sometimes you just have to walk away, refresh and then come back more equipped for the job at hand.
I always remind parents that you know your child more then any other person on the planet so only you know when enough is enough. Patience and Empathy will always win in the long run and children learn primarily by the way you treat them!