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What consequences should I use when my child misbehaves?

Lynne Kenney
Psychology
In the examples and explanations that follow, I will use three consequences that I have found to be very effective.

1. Loss of an object, activity or person immediately following the misbehavior -- an example of this is when a child hits another child with a toy sword. The consequence is that the sword is removed to the top of the fridge for the day. Another example is when a child intentionally interferes with the fun of another family member or friend, the child is immediately removed from playing with that person. This method is most commonly employed in school settings and is quite effective for relatively minor misbehaviors.

2. The thinking chair -- removal of the child from the setting where willful noncompliance occurred to a chair placed in an open space in the home. The thinking chair can be in the kitchen, living room or hall. For younger children the chair can face forward, for older children the chair can face the wall. This restricts the child’s ability to see and participate in family activities. The thinking chair should be used for more serious misbehaviors.

3. The quiet room -- this is a safe, enclosed setting where the door can stay open when the child remains in the room and the door can be closed and even locked if the child asserts his or her power and tries to leave the room. The quiet room should be used only very infrequently for serious misbehaviors or when a child has refused to comply with the thinking chair consequence.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.