Have you ever felt like your consequences keep going up, and all you feel like is your kids still don’t care? It’s a really common problem, and we’ll start first with an easy fix. Most of the time when consequences keep getting bigger it means we keep getting more emotionally involved. So one of the biggest things to do when you’re giving a consequence is make sure everybody’s back to emotional zero. So when a negative behavior occurs, you signal to them this doesn’t work and then let everyone take a timeout or a brain break. When you come back and give consequences you need to be in a place where you feel neutral. Sometime you might need to call a friend or do something else like go yell in the room. Do whatever it takes, but once you are neutral that’s when you set consequences.
One of the easiest systems is to lay out the consequences ahead of time, and make a minor and a major list of things that people can’t do in your house. So some minor things could be being disrespectful at the table, watching TV when you’ve been told not to. Major things are more like curfew problems or high levels of disrespect, or certainly something like hitting a sibling. When you know ahead of time what the penalty is this solve a lot of problems. Minor penalties can be losing 15 minutes of electronics, and major consequences can include things like being grounded or potentially having breaks from friends or other activities that they like. Once you know the consequences, and everyone is calm then you sit down and deliver them.