Consequences…

QUESTION:

I’m confused. You talk about logical and natural consequences. What’s the difference? And, aren’t those punishments?

Answer:

There is a big difference between logical and natural consequences. They are not the same thing at all.

Natural consequences are things that just happen. They are built into life by God. Go outside in the snow without your coat and you will get cold. Run on slippery floors and you will slip. Go into debt and can’t pay your bills and you will face calls from collectors and bankruptcy. They are built in no matter what your age or maturity level.

Logical consequences are imposed consequences that are relevant, respectful, and related (if they’re done in PD/GBD; punitive logical consequences are out there, too, but we don’t want those). For young children who lack adult logic, these are still punitive. They don’t think in logical ways, so they don’t always see the connections we are making. And because logical consequences are imposed after the fact, they are reactive and not proactive. For this reason, I encourage people to think of logical consequences as an effective tool for the older child and teen who share adult logic and will make the connections. A 3- to 5-year-old won’t necessarily get it.


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