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One way to look at logical consequences is that the "punishment" or consequence should fit the misbehavior. This works sometimes, but it is not applicable to all situations. For example if Johnny hits Susie, it might seem logical for Susie to be allowed to hit Johnny back, but that's not a very good discipline method because neither child is learning proper behavior that way. In this case it would be better for Johnny to say he is sorry, and to do something to make Susie feel better. Children need to learn how to behave properly more than they need to be punished.
It's better to think about logical consequences as a teaching tool rather than a "punishment". For example, if
your child accidently spills milk at the table, you can calmly teach him how to clean it up. If your child purposely throws his milk cup on the floor because he's angry, you would have him clean it up and then sit in "time out" (or the other way around if necessary). Sometimes it takes a combination of discipline tools to teach the lesson.
Part of implementing logical consequences means that we have to be thinking logically at the time. It's hard to think logically when you're tired, frustrated, irritated, or stressed out, so it's good to be prepared for those times because we all have them. You could tell your kids, "look, I've had a really bad day so don't ________ or you may get a really bad consequence." Better yet, you can tell them specifically how you want them to behave, "I need you to be quiet and play nicely for an hour so I can relax because I've had a bad day." In this case you could also offer a small reward for their cooperation, and a possible consequence
if they misbehave.
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Next week I'll talk about other types of consequences that may not be logical but may easier to implement. Please feel free to leave your comments or share your experiences!