26. How can I help my child to take responsibility with choice and consequences?

Supporting your children to take responsibility is one of the most important tools you can give your child. 


Suzanne explains more here: 

Hi my name is Suzanne Pearson and I’m from Sharing Parenting.

Today we are going to talk about choices and consequences .

So when do we use choices and consequences?

We usually use choices and consequences when there’s a power struggle going on, when you’re saying yes and they are saying no, when there’s defiance.

During this time there’s a power struggle – your child is usually saying “I want more personal power” ” I want to be involved in decisions” ” I want more control”.  So choices and consequences is a key strategy for giving your child some of those.

When we use choices and consequences we’re actually saying “you make the decision” “you’re involved in this decision” ”’you have some control here” ” you have some more personal power” but we need to make sure the choices we give are choices that fit nicely with your family. 

So the third thing is

How do we give choices and consequences? 

Well there’s a few tips that can help you. 

The first step is only offer two choices. You want no more than two choices. The second tip before you use them is make sure you are looking after yourself. That you can get these choices with respect for the child and respect for yourself. That your body language is relaxed and open and that you have got a good attitude as you walk towards the child. These things will help you when you administer choices and consequence so just check yourself as well as the child .

How do we give choices and consequences? 

Now let’s give you some examples;

A child not doing schoolwork

“Okay you have two choices – you can do your school work now and have play time later or you could have some playtime now  and do your schoolwork later”

When possible give your child some choices that are wider than the normal ones

You could say “If you finish your school work you’ll have time to chat with your friends or you can chat for 30 minutes – if you don’t finish your schoolwork then you have less time to chat with your friends it’s your choice”

and it’s really important at the end of your choices that you actually say to the child “this is your choice these are your consequences and what you’re saying is ‘you have some power here, you can make the decisions’


A child is being cheeky

“If you keep talking to me like this I’ll need to go” or “If you talk to me nicely I’ll sit and listen”. 

You know your child, you know what will work for your child. 

I hope this has been useful,  when to use them, how to use them and some key tips do it from a place of respect.

thank you

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