Consequences | Teaching Self-Government

Consequences

My kids are really hard workers (At least I've taught them one thing right!) so they are not bothered at all by doing an extra job or even doing jobs for one hour or all day.  It's not their favorite thing to do but they will do it without complaining and then go right back to the same behavior that we were trying to fix.  I know it sounds crazy but these are unusual kids I'm raising!

After a few days on your system the house was so clean that there was nothing left to clean and it became too much work for me to try to think up a job for them.  I don't know why but I still can't think of any other consequences for them.  We don't eat sugar anymore and have a very simple diet where healthy treats happen very rarely.  We also don't have TV so taking that away isn't an option.  We don't have neighbors so I can't take away friends except for maybe once a week when we have a play date.  Their lives sound really sad, don't they?  But we do fun activities as a family a couple times a week and I'm not taking that away from them.  What is left?  Reading?  Clothes?  Food?  Shelter?  Today I started having them pick up rocks in the garden but then I have to go check that they are doing it which is also more work for me.

For instance, what would be a good consequence for lying besides work, treats, etc.  I would love it if you could help me figure this out! 

You have obviously done a great job teaching your children to work.  Work builds great character.

If I run out of regular chores at my house, I pull my job jar off the top of the refrigerator, and have the child pull a job out of that.  At one point I wrote down a list of every job I could think of in my home.  From things like dust the ceiling for cob webs to wash out the cupboards.  I actually have some job jars for sell.  I only have six left, but for $20 I could ship you a nice glass container with the words Job Jar printed in vinyl on it and a list of all the jobs in my job jar.  If you don't want one of my job jars, you could make your own.  You could also make a list of possible major maintenances.  Another idea would be for you to start having chores be things like mending, and repairs.  Depending on the ages of your children, this may or may not be age appropriate. 

Also, it is OK if your children like chores.  There is no rule that a child has to hate his negative consequence.  The point of the consequence is that you would have been doing something else at the time you had to do the chore, because you chose to not follow instructions etc.  The purpose of the negative consequence is teaching cause and effect.

If you want something else as a negative consequence you might have to sit down and think about what privleges you actually have at your home.  It sounds like you don't have the regular ones most people do, so you may have to make your own list of privileges.  I am sure you have privileges at your house too.

I don't know the ages of your children, but you could do a money system.  I am not the biggest fan of money systems, but it could work for you.  We did a money system once and this is what it looked like. 

Each child had a calendar.  Each day, the child had the earning potential of 25 cents just for being a member of the family.  However, if the child chose not to do one of the four basics then the child earned an X on the day on the calendar.  Each X took 5 cents off the daily total.  They started over fresh each day.  If five Xs were earned in the day, then the person lost their money and their privileges until the next day.  Again, make sure your family knows what privileges are.  If my children loose all of their privileges for 24 hours, they don't even get to play piano, read, or play with siblings during that time.  They get to do school and then problem solving exercises and SODAS.

You could use point systems for rewards, or other motivational systems too.  I have a friend who sets up systems to reward her children with trips to the book store to pick out a book after they have so many points.  Negative behaviors take away points and possitive behaviors add points.

For dishonesty we have a 30 minute work time in my home.  This work time is whatever I decide needs to be done.  If my foster children lied, they earned negative points.  We were on a point system with them.  Each day the children had to total their points to earn their privileges.  If they didn't have enough points, they would loose their privileges for 24 hours.  This meant out of instructional control behavior was 50,000 negative points.