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Steve's diary
by Zombie Steve

previous entry: Parenting opinions: is taking pictures stupid?

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Parenting opinions: are delayed consequences better?


Continuing with the theme of parenting opinions.

Are delayed consequences better?

If your two year old touches an electrical outlet even after you tell them not to, you might slap their hand. This is a form of instantaneous feedback. Another form of instantaneous feedback is getting electricuted by the outlet. You can choose which one is better.

But in other instances, when situations are more complicated, is it better to apply a consequence straight away, or to delay the consequence?

For example-

Your son decides that he wants to draw all over the wall. You discover this and you tell him this is not acceptable. Now you have two theoretical choices:

1. Give him a consequence such as bed early.


2. Tell him there will be a consequence.

To this, I think the goal of the consequence is important to consider. We want to learn form consequences. If you apply a consequence immediately, your son will be able to evalute the consequence and come to terms with it. The cost of their decision to draw on your wall is going to bed early. Maybe this is fair or unfair, but as soon as they realize they can't change it, it is what it is. They may fight about it at bed time.

If you delay your consequnce however, the cost to their decision to drawn on your wall is much greater. The words "there will be a consequence, we can talk about what it will be later" leaves a question in their mind. Even though the consequence can be the same, they will spend much time thinking about the consequence. They will imagine the very worst consequence, and the very best consequnce. They will have to evalute what they did and think about what 'punishment fits the crime'.

The advantage to the delayed consequence is truly that they spend much more time thinking about what they did, and it becomes more of a problem to them. In my opinion, it makes it less likely that they'll do the same thing again in the future.

And that's all I have to say on that one. 

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In my house, there never was a delay. You did something bad, you got consequences right then and there lol. I don't have kids but I think delayed consequences would work better with pre-teens/teens and also depending on the severity of the behavior needing to be corrected.

[Greta GarbageStar|0 likes] [|reply]

Oh and OMG STEVE UPDATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think you should get 2 weeks free BloopXtra just for that LMAO

[Greta GarbageStar|0 likes] [|reply]

It depends. With my oldest I do delayed consequences. She is 14 and if shes acting up I wait to give consequences til we are home because she acts a fool. With my younger ones we just give it.

[*Forever Changing*Star|1 like] [|reply]

I'm not a parent so I don't know if my opinion is valid but I honestly think it depends on the situation...what they did, etc. If I was a parent, I think my first response would be to give a warning, let them know that they've done something wrong and that it's not to be done again otherwise there will be a consequence...let them think about it? But as I said, I think it really depends on what they did...if it was something really bad or really serious, potentially dangerous/life threatening, then there might be a consequence handed out right away.

[squishStar|0 likes] [|reply]

They should clean that wall up and go without their favourite item for the rest of the day.

[raen|0 likes] [|reply]

NEVER a delay. Right away, the consequence must happen. I've studied child development and have my own children. I implemented this method when I worked with children at the daycares and then when my kids were born. When they are young, they'll forget what they've done if you consequence later, and even then you might forget to give the consequence and then they think they can walk all over you, etc etc etc. My 2 year old recently thinks she's Picasso as well, and she gets them right away. The Picasso art, has almost stopped. I'm sure the consequences will change once they're older, but for right now.. straight away!

[Ethan JamesStar|0 likes] [|reply]

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