In today's lesson, we examined the importance of givng consequences consistently and considered the kinds of consequences that are most effective. Chris opened the lesson by mentioning that many of you have small children and that many have small, compliant children. For these parents, it may be difficult for them to envision their children stepping over the discipline boundary in a significant way. He emphasized that all children will eventually step over the boundary just as we step over the boundary with our Heavenly Father. When this occurs, consequences should and will follow.
The first important point to consider in delivering consequences for behavior is to be sure that consequences are consistently delivered. Failure to act consistently in the delivery of consequences is very confusing to a child. If consequences are assigned sometimes and not assigned at other times, the discipline lessons are significantly diminished. According to the Groffs, consistently implementing consequences for bad behavior with empathy communicates love for the child.
Indeed, when God's servant Moses struck the rock causing water to flow in the desert, and accepted the glory for the provision of water, God felt compelled to issue a consequence for this behavior, resulting in Moses not being able to enter the promised land. Even though Moses was a great man of God and even though he had served God well, God assigned consequences to his behavior. It is quite obvious that sin must be addressed.
Chris stated that many of us tend to default to one particular consequence. In many families with older kids, that default consequence is often grounding the child. However, the Groffs teach that varying the consequences to match the situation is more effective in teaching specific lessons. Sometimes, consequences occur naturally. If your child forgets his lunch, hunger is a natural consequence of such action. There will be times when you will need to construct a consequence. In such cases, the Groffs recommend using one's imagination to identify a consequence that might teach a better lesson than the old "default" consequence.
Chris also encourages us to evaluate our consequences. If the consequence is too hard, the lesson to the child is diminished. If it is too lenient, there is no learning experience at all.
Be prepared! Kids will complain about consequences and our teacher suggests that some complaining is acceptable and even expected. Most of us grumble when we receive a ticket, even if the ticket was well-deserved. Kids are no different. However, we should be careful to distinguish between harmless complaining and disrespectt. If the comments are about the punishment and the target of the comments is the situation or the consequence, that is acceptable. However, if the target of the comment is you or your spouse, that may be stepping over the boundary and may be considered disrespectful. If disrespect occurs, consequences should be implemented, again with appropriate empathy.
According to Chris Groff, poor choices should be addressed immediately and inappropriate behavior should be pointed out. However, it is appropriate to delay the consequence, giving the child time to think about his behavior to to consider other responses that he might have chosen. The lesson today makes reference to a worksheet to help you identify possible consequences for specific behavior. Here are the four columns of the workbook:
Things your child Things your child Things you do Things that can be
does not like to do likes to do as favors exchanged for your time,
effort, and money.
Finally, our teacher describes "exploration" as the follow-up to consequences. This step should be taken only after the emotions are passed--not in the heat of the moment when emotions are running high.
NEXT WEEK: Lesson 8--Empathy
Thanks to all of you who brought breakfast food this morning and thanks for the diaper supply for the Halberts. As we mentioned, we will begin a new series in two weeks called, "Invincible Love, Invisible War". If you would like to learn more about this series, go to https://amazingcollectionstore.com/user/login
At the top of the page, you will see a label for "Store". Choose Store and then scroll down the left side until you see the title, "Invincible Love, Invisible War." This will bring you to a picture of the workbook. Click on the title and it will take you to an overview of the study and, if you have created an account on the original page, an opportunity to purchase a workbook if you choose. The workbook costs $14.99 plus tax and shipping. You are not required to create an account just to review the material. If you wish to purchase, you will need to create an account or you could order by calling 1-888-366-3460.
You certainly don't need a workbook to complete the study. However, for some folks, the workbook helps them complete the study.