Teaching your child about the importance of repercussions can be difficult, especially when they’re still attempting to master the finer techniques of the potty. However, by giving them the power of choice in the smaller areas of their life, they can gently learn to navigate the relationship between actions and consequences.
1. Make the rules simple.
When rules are simple to understand, they’re simple to follow. Make you child aware of appropriate and kind behaviour.
2. Explain consequences beforehand in a calm manner.
For example, “You are allowed to have your treat now but if you do, you won’t have one when the rest of us are eating our treats later.”
“If you are in bed on time we’ll read stories, if not, we won’t have time for that activity.”
3. Let them know it’s their choice
Make them aware that this is a choice, not a threat. You’re providing options for them and they have free power to choose the option they prefer.
4. Let them stand by their decision
If your child makes a decision that they regret later, don’t allow them to change their mind. Let them know that past decisions are gone. Don’t be smug, simply let them know that this was their choice to make and they will have further opportunities in the future to make a different decision.
5. Stay Strong
If they have to stick to the rules then so do you. If you outline a consequence for your child’s actions and they choose that path, you must set a good example by following through. They only way they’ll learn to stand by their decisions is by watching you stand by yours. Be warned: Initially this could make you a very unpopular parent!
6. Talk to them
Chances are your child may be unhappy the first time their decision making skills backfire on them. This is an opportunity to discuss taking responsibility for their own choices or behaviour, along with teaching them how to handle disappointment.