September 2, 2009

Natural Consequences

I have recently seen too great examples of how natural consequences work.

1./  Everly was painting.  Which turned into Everly painting her hands.  I decided to tidy up the kitchen and had my back to her.  When I turned around there she was COVERED in paint all over her face.  Honestly I didn't really care that much.  At the same time it isn't something I want to encourage.  I grabbed my camera, filmed and took a couple pictures and fairly calmly took her upstairs to hose her down.  She did NOT appreciate having her faced washed.  After we talked about how if you paint your face it will mean having a shower, and getting water all over your face.  Today she tried just painting her nose, and I reminded her about how we would have to clean her face and she stopped.

2./ Everly and a friend got into some cream.  I found them with some on their bodies and faces.  They friend seemed shocked that I didn't get angry.  As I was trying to decide how to deal with the situation, Everly got some cream in her eye.  I was able to point out that that was one reason it is not a good idea to play with cream without a parent around.  They agreed and gave me the jar they had hidden.

The one thing that I am having a hard time with now is when I am around other parents.  Mostly my neighbour who's daughter is 4.  First of all her daughter is older so she does have higher expectations, but she also seems to have many more rules then we do in general.  Their home isn't close to as kid friendly as ours is, so there are a lot of rules to protect furniture and carpets.  The thing is sometimes I start feeling like I am too permissive when I spend a lot of time with them.  I know she is sometimes surprised with the things I don't worry about.  For example I let Everly play with water in her kitchen.  Which usually means water will get on our floor, area rug and even couch.  Not enough to cause alarm or anything.  A few times she seemed shocked that I didn't seem to care. 

I let Everly paint her hands, her rubber frog and a polly pocket.  It just doesn't seem like a big deal to me.  If she wants to do that that is fine.  I won't let her paint her cloth dolls obviously.  And when she is painting she has to stay in her chair.  I guess I just have to remind myself I do set boundaries... I just like to give Pooks lots of room to be a creative kid.


Lindsay said...

I think it's great that you are trying to teach her the "natural" consequence of her actions. As long as they aren't doing something that is dangerous or potentially harmful, I think it is good for children to learn the consequences of what they are doing. It helps them to understand and they will oftenttimes remember it in the future more than if you just tell them not to do something.

Motherhood for the Weak said...

Great stories. Little kids do understand cause and effect so natural consequences is a great way to parent imo.

I am also pretty laid back. It's hard to watch the babeola destroy her art project, but I let her do it. It's hers and this is how she's experiencing the world right now; lots of destruction.

On the playground, I'm the weirdo parent going 'I wouldn't do that. You'll fall and get hurt, so maybe try sitting,' while everyone else is screaming, "Get down right now!! No jumping!!" Oddly enough the babeola listens to me, I think/hope she recognizes I'm offering advice, not discipline. I also don't rush in to save her from falls (so long as it's not high up) and I let her make her own mistakes.

I do get more hands on with biting and tantrums though. Those can earn her a break in her room with her lovey and pacifier until she's ready to be civil again. I also have bad days where I act like an a$$ too.

And another vignette, one of the moms in our playgroup is a child development specialist psychologist something or other. I was shocked to see her threatening her kids with spankings and I could tell she was shocked I don't and thought I was being too 'soft'. Yet my kid listens without the hitting so...?