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#100: How to give consequences that work


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Welcome to episode 100! We are so grateful for all of you and look forward to the next 100 episodes!

We are excited to announce the Smarter Parenting Club. We know that families have different needs. The Smarter Parenting Club aims to meet families where they are, with three different levels. You will have access to exclusive content, podcasts, videos, coaching, and so much more in the club.

Sign up today! We can’t wait for you to join us.

Giving consequences that work can be tricky. Frequently when giving a consequence, parents tend to go to the extreme, which leaves parents nowhere to go if it doesn’t work.

A consequence aims to teach our child. Consequences are not punishments. When giving a consequence, parents should ask themselves, “What is the least amount of consequence to get my child to stop the negative behavior?”

Consequences must meet the five components of Effective Negative Consequences.

  • First, the consequence needs to be immediate and should happen as soon as possible after the negative behavior.
  • Second, it needs to match the inappropriate behavior.
  • Third, you need to be able to follow through with consequences every time the negative behavior happens.
  • Fourth, you shouldn’t give the same consequence for all negative behavior.
  • Fifth, the consequence should mean something to your child. If the consequence doesn’t mean something to your child, they have no motivation to stop their negative behavior.

Learn about Effective Negative Consequences on SmarterParenting.com

For full show notes and transcript visit: https://www.smarterparenting.com/adhd-parenting-podcast/

We can’t wait to see you in the Smarter Parenting Club!

Episode Transcript

This is episode 100.

We welcome you to the ADHD Smarter Parenting podcast. Here to heal and elevate lives is your parenting coach Siope Kinikini.

Hello, my friends. How are you? I am so excited. There is so much going on here at Smarter Parenting. If you’ve listened to the last podcast, I had mentioned that I have an announcement for you on some offerings that we have here at Smarter Parenting. So I am excited to share that during this podcast. Now, during this podcast, I just want to preface it by saying we are going to be covering two things specifically. We’re going to talk about Effective Negative Consequences, because that has been a topic that has been coming up a lot during my coaching sessions during the last week. And we’re going to talk about the offerings that are available.

First off though, I do need to give a huge shout out to the Smarter Parenting team. To Dustin, to Rob, and to Amy, for helping with the podcast. Being sure that everything is uploaded and that we can share this with the world.

We have actually reached a huge milestone. This is our hundredth episode. Can you believe it? A hundred. We have a hundred episodes here and we’ve been able to reach around the world, different countries, different people. It’s amazing the reach that we’ve been able to get with this podcast. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here. And I’m grateful we’ve gotten to a point where we can share more information with you and actually provide something of value to you based on what you need as a family in helping your children succeed.

I’m going to start by talking about the offerings that we have here at Smarter Parenting that is rolling out and will be available to you. We are releasing a Smarter Parenting Club. Now the club itself is designed to allow parents who have different needs or different desires or engagement levels, to join us so we can help you wherever you may be.

Our first level that we have has a lot of new stuff that will be available. Exclusive content like blog posts, worksheets and podcasts. Specialized podcasts to help you. We have interviews with professionals. We have an interview covering IEPs and 504s. Very specific things that will be very helpful for you as a parent. We also answer your specific questions on video, and we will share that with those who are in that level. Also, you have access to the parenting course. So those things are available to you. And we also do a deep dive into the Teaching-Family Model, which will be helpful for you to understand the Model that we use here at Smarter Parenting and how it’s implemented.

Now, if you need something that’s more intensive, you can bump up to the next level. And the next level contains all of that, and it also contains coaching. You’ll be able to get a coaching session a month. And we come up with a behavior plan. We outline what you need to do. And I can guide you through that whole process. We can individualize it to what it is that your family needs.

Now, if you are somebody who needs more help or you want more intensity in your engagement, then you can bump up to the next level. Which is more coaching sessions with the behavioral plan and everything that’s included in the other two levels.

So we are rolling this out for you in order to help you. We’ve been able to gather a lot of information in our communications with you, our listeners, and finding out what it is you need and how you need it. And so this is going to be available to you to access. The first level allows you to self-coach. You can actually do a lot of self-coaching in there, you’ll have a lot of access to exclusive content, and that is super helpful. And then you bump up to coaching and then more intensive coaching. So yay for that!

Now don’t despair. What’s available on the website as far as the skills, they’re still there and they’re still free. Our blog posts. There are blog posts there as well. Those are also for free. You’re still going to be able to access those materials on the Smarter Parenting website without issue. So, that is not going to change. We want to make it available to any parent that needs that help. These levels are meant to guide you along the process and actually save you time and energy as we try and individualize things to better fit your needs as a family. Because as we know, all families are different and children are different, and sometimes you just need that input. Something a little bit different in order to address the needs that you have. Yay!

These are going to be available for you. And we are so excited to roll that out. Huge shout out to the Smarter Parenting team who has been working tirelessly to make this available for you. You can sign up at the Smarter Parenting website for one of these. And I hope to see you there, because that’s where we’re going to make some transformational changes.

Now, I did also want to cover Effective Negative Consequences, which is a skill that we have on Smarter Parenting. You can watch the video on the website. The question that consistently pops up is how do I issue an Effective Negative Consequence that works? That works. I understand that this question is common. A lot of parents will issue consequences and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but in what way can we make it work? And that actually is important for you as a parent to really nail down early.

Now, if your child is a teenager, you can still nail it down and you can still focus in on the five components that make consequences effective. I’m going to point those out to you because it’s important for you to know what they are, but we’re going to focus on just one of those components. Okay.

The five things you need to consider when you are issuing a consequence are, first needs to be immediate. Second is degree and size. Third is consistency. Fourth is the importance to the child. And fifth is varied, needs to just switch up. I’m going to explain these, but we are going to focus on degree and size.

The first one, immediate. You actually should be giving a consequence immediately after the behavior. If you have a young child, they’re going to connect their behavior with the consequent. That makes sense to them. I did something, something happened. Oh, those are connected. Makes sense.

Now for older children, teenagers, you can allow a little more time in there. But the closer you keep that, the behavior and the consequence together, the better off you are going to be. Say for a teenager, you can issue a consequence that will happen a day later. That’s great. That works if your child is mature enough and they understand that they connect. You’re trying to make a connection between behavior and the outcome.

Now, degree and size. Degree and size is the one that I have the most questions about. How big or small the negative consequence is supposed to be and how to match it to the behavior of my child. So degree and size is what we will be talking about during this podcast.

Let’s next go on to three, which is consistency. So the thing that you need to consider is how consistent you can be. You need to be able to be as consistent every time the child behaves a certain way that you issue the consequence. Follow through. If you do not follow through when you issue a consequence in the future, they may not believe that you’re going to be able to keep your end of this agreement, and so it’s not that compelling for them to continually behave in the appropriate way. You have to be consistent.

Fourth is important. You need to be sure that the consequence that you are giving is important to your child. If it’s not important, it’s not going to be effective.

And then the last one is varied. You need to switch up the consequences by using a variety of consequences for different negative behaviors. This means that you don’t want to give the same consequence, go to your room, go to your room, go to your room for different behaviors. So say your child is doing different things. They throw a tantrum. They don’t do their chores. They complain about something. They don’t follow your instructions. And you’re giving them the same consequence of go to your room, go to your room, go to your room. It’s less effective. You want to be able to give varied consequences based on the behavior. And you want to be flexible as your child gets older, you can change those up as well.

Those are the five things that you need, but we’re going to focus on degree and size. What degree and size of consequence is appropriate? I’m going to have you ask yourself this one question when you’re thinking about degree or size. You should be asking yourself this question. What is needed? What is the least amount of consequence that is needed to make a change? I better repeat that. What is the least amount of consequence that is needed to make a change?

Now, for some parents you are scratching your heads and you’re thinking, wait a minute, what? Consequences should be punishing. And they should be huge. And they should be a production. I am here to challenge that thought. The idea behind what we do here at Smarter Parenting is that we are here to teach, not to punish. And by teaching, what we are doing is helping our child learn, and in learning, they’re able to apply it into multiple areas of their lives. When you ask yourself that question, what is the least amount of consequence needed to make the change? You actually put yourself in a very powerful position.

First off, you are able to evaluate where the pivot point is for your child. At what point will my child make a change because I’m issuing this consequence? You are mapping out and you’re being very strategic in the way that you are issuing the consequence. Now, if you go with the least that is there, that gives you another advantage. The second advantage of that is that it gives you room to grow and to use that consequence in other ways. If you go to maximum level of consequence, mock 10, the highest consequence immediately, you don’t have any room to issue a consequence that’s more severe down the road because you’ve maxed out where you’re at.

Ask yourself that question. What is the least amount of consequence needed to make a change in the behavior? If you can issue a consequence that is in that range, what is the least amount needed, you are going to be in good shape down the road. You’re going to be able to move into more severe consequences if the behavior does not decrease. So always start off with less and move forward. Don’t start off with a lot and then try and scale back, because that does not work. It doesn’t work.

If you are doing a huge consequence and then later on you want to pull back, it teaches your child that you are inconsistent. It teaches your child that hey, well, I guess it really doesn’t matter because I’m not going to get the consequence that I deserve. I’m just going to get whatever you think I need at the moment, and it’s probably just your mood that’s driving this whole thing. So you become inconsistent when you’re unable to firm that down. So ask yourself that question.

Now, during the week I spoke with Elaine and David. So, Elaine is a mom, working with her son, David, who’s a teenager. And David just refuses to go to bed when it’s time for him to go to bed. And he’s a young teen, so he’s 13. And Elaine called and she was talking to me about this whole idea of what consequence should I issue for him because he doesn’t follow through with what she’s asking him to do. So she’ll ask him, “Hey, it’s almost time for bed. You need to get ready for bed.” And then she will tell him, “Okay, it’s time. You need to go to bed.” So she’s giving him some warnings. She’s telling him, hey, get ready because it’s coming down the pike. I’m going to tell you that you need to go to bed.

We started talking about that and what consequences. When I told her, what is the least amount of consequence that you can give in order for your child to pivot? She was taken aback. She was unsure exactly. Okay, well, let me think about that. And we had to process a lot of what she was doing, because she actually started with huge consequences. And when you start with huge consequences, like I mentioned before, you have nowhere to go.

We scaled it back. We thought, okay, what is needed? What is the least amount of consequence needed to make a change? And so we connected the other components to effective consequences, which are immediacy, consistency, importance to the child and varied. And what we found was that we could use time as a consequence.

So if he were unable to go for a certain amount of time, we would take that amount of time into the next day where he’d have less time on something that he enjoyed to do. If he were to take five minutes to finally go to bed and follow through, then the next day she would take five minutes off of computer games. Or she would take five minutes off of time that he could play with his friends. We geared it towards time, and we did it to the least amount as possible in order to allow her to grow.

This helped Elaine figure out a system. And Elaine, after she figured this out, she was able to come up with a whole plan of different consequences along the way that if he continued to behave that way she could up it, and she could up the consequences in order to get the desired behavior. What I found fascinating in that exchange was Elaine’s flexibility in being able to work through this. All she needed was to ask the right question. And that was the question.

So, when you are issuing an Effective Negative Consequence to your child, ask yourself that question. What is the least amount of a consequence that I need to give in order to see a change happen in my child’s behavior? It’s a powerful place to be in when you can focus your energies on making those changes and teaching your child, rather than becoming angry and just punishing your child because they’re not doing what they need to do. And you also allow for opportunities for you to continually shape and adjust and change the behavior to something more positive.

Now I did receive a report from Elaine, and she had to go a level up from what we had decided she was going to do. So she decided she was going to increase the time allotted if he didn’t go to sleep or go to bed when she asked him to go to bed and it took him five minutes. She was going to increase the time from five minutes from the time that he spent dilly-dallying to double that time, so it would be 10 minutes the next day. And because he’s 13, he made the connection, okay, if I don’t go to bed when I’m asked to go to bed, when I’m supposed to go to bed, then the next day I have less time to do something that I enjoy or that I want. He was able to make that connection. Elaine did text me later and let me know, “Hey, that actually helped to shape it.” And he asked her if they could go back to the way it was, where it was five minutes for five minutes, rather than five minutes and 10 minutes.

As you can see, there’s some flexibility in the way that you can parent and help your child. Remember we’re here to teach our children, and consequences should be a way to help pivot children towards positivity or towards obedience. Towards what they need to do. We’re not here to punish, punish, punish, punish children. Because in the long run, punishment doesn’t work as well as helping children function in a world of positivity and changing and shaping those behaviors. I absolutely wanted to address that question because it’s a question that has popped up more than once during my coaching sessions on Effective Negative Consequences and how to issue them, and things that you should take into consideration when you’re working with your child.

Now, I do want to go back and talk about the different levels that I presented earlier during this podcast, and invite you to go over and take a look at what is available now for you as a parent. We’re here to help you. We’re absolutely here to help you. This offering is unique in that it will provide you with a lot more options as parents to meet your family’s needs. It will save you time. It’ll save you energy because we can focus in on what is happening.

I have to give a huge shout out and express my gratitude to the people who sponsor Smarter Parenting. You have no idea the sacrifice that they make. But they make so many sacrifices in order to provide this podcast, but also to make this club available and affordable to families regardless of where you’re at. I cannot tell you what influence they have had in helping families around the world. Huge shout out to our sponsors who help Smarter Parenting grow and are really in it to help and change and shape families behaviors.

Now that’s it for me. This has been our hundredth episode. I look forward to a hundred more because there’s just so much more to share. And I will talk to you again next week. That’s it for me. See you later. All right. Bye

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Ep #85: How to use Effective Negative Consequences: Part 3

Ep #84: How to use Effective Negative Consequences: Part 2

Ep #83: How to use Effective Negative Consequences: Part 1


Behavior skill: Effective Negative Consequence

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Podcast Transcript

The transcript text is below. You can also download the PDF file of the transcript here.