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?
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.
(This appears on every entry: If you like what you see, please consider upgrading your account to BloopXtra
. I like to keep Bloop running, and the premium subscription helps pay for server expenses and helps justify the time I spend developing it. If you don't like what you see, you are welcome to leave feedback!)