Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Natural Consequences

Pin It

This is a repost from a Summer of 2009.   Bubs is older now but we still use natural consequences to help our children learn the importance of obedience.

I love natural consequences. I think allowing life to provide its own consequences is the best form of discipline.  But using them with younger children can be difficult to do. Today, Bubs (age 5) got a bitter taste of natural consequences.

While Little Man and Sweet Pea were taking naps, Bubs and I ventured out to the garden to give it some much needed tender loving care.   Due to the rain we had to wait until afternoon time to work in the dry soil; so the temperatures were pretty high.

I gave Bubs a job with plans to help him when I finished what I was doing. The job was VERY simple and would take him just a few minutes to complete without help. For some reason, Bubs thought the job was too hard for him. Several times he "tried" and it didn't work. Then in the next moment he would get excited because it actually worked but quickly returned to fussing. I even helped at one point to show him how and yet he cried the entire time.

After my attempt, he was told that he had a job to do and that mommy would not be helping him.  I also told him that I was going to get into our little pool afterwards to cool off.  He was welcome to join me if his job was complete.

Needless to say, he complained and cried for about an hour. I finished my job and got into the pool. He was crushed.

Everything inside me wanted to bend, give in, but I knew that I had to be strong for his sake. 

While I was swimming alone, Bubs would ask me if he could get into the pool.  Each time I calmly said that I would love to have him join me, after he got his job done.

Finally he started working on it. He got about half way done and started fussing again. Pretty soon, I had to get out of the pool. Of course he was devastated knowing that he had just blown his opportunity to swim.

Eventually he did finish his job - two hours later. When he was done, Bubs came into the house with a smile on his face. He knew that he had completed the job and he also knew that Mommy meant what she says.

Share a time that you used natural consequences.


  1. Isn't it frustrating when the job they did yesterday or that you know they can do is "too hard"? We had that just last night from our five year old who's muscles were mysteriously too weak to pick up books! He was to take the first bath (a coveted privilege for some reason) so I told him I would set the timer for ten minutes. If he picked up the books, he would still get the first bath, otherwise someone else would. His muscles recovered and the books were put away in five minutes.

    It has truly taken years to get to this point. Last year picking up the books would have taken at least an hour and been accompanied by much fussing, yelling, throwing things etc....K

    1. It is exciting to see that setting boundaries is paying off. Great job!


The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.