Parenting with consequences teaches children to be mindful of potential risks. It’s as simple as teaching about cars in the road and looking before crossing the street. It plants the foundation for being mindful of how our child treats others their entire life.

If you run in front of a moving vehicle, chances are you could get hit or even killed depending on the vehicle’s speed and your size/physical condition. We don’t always see the car before we step out into its path, and the car does not always accommodate our choice to not be looking for it.

 Life does not promise to be easy, be rational, or be respectful.
It’s essential to respect our children to be successful parents.  We must guide them through living life by modeling positive behavior and also behavior that society deems positive. To teach our children that lessons are accommodating implies that our children are the center of the universe.

We teach children what to expect from the world with how we interact with and guide them each day. 

YES, be the soft spot for them to land when a bully takes his/her toll.

YES, begin parenting from a loving, optimistic, respectful point of view.
NO, do not ALWAYS accommodate your child’s behavior. 


Child at table mom and dad talking with her. Text reads parenting with consequences prepares child for life.

Parenting with Consequences

We must always teach from the behavior our children show. Teach them how their choices and behavior affect them and others.
Many times, this means an immediate ‘wake-up call’ in the form of a consequence.

I refuse to bubble wrap my children from exposure in life. Protect, guide, be a soft spot to land, yes, but restrict them from failing or understanding that life can be unfair-no.


I was given no cushion when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness as a child. Life did not ask me if I wanted to deal with an incurable illness. Disease just happened, therefore I learned to grow and respond to it.


I went from joy and optimism at 10 ½ years old to despair and dread.  No preservation of innocence and ease.


I went from total freedom of youth to the shackles of health issues that most adults do not live with until their 50s or older.


Life did not accommodate me.


What if my parents had padded my short life up until that fateful day that life, literally, spanked me? What if I had not known that sometimes consequences happen whether I thought I deserved it or not?  What my parents taught me, by teaching that there are boundaries in this life that MUST be followed, were preservation of self, preservation of others, and preservation of the world.


These boundaries sometimes feel good to us and many times do not.


I HAD to live within a disciplined mindset, and still do. There are foods I can’t eat so that I can keep my body healthy. There are accommodations I have made to live a healthy life; life does not accommodate my wants.

My parents spanked. Spanking was not their first step on the discipline continuum, but it was a tool they used to teach us that when we were being disrespectful or rude, we had to learn to adjust our behavior. They did not abuse us. We were greatly respected by my parents. Our ‘say’ was included in family discussions and decisions about where to move when my dad had to change jobs, where to go on vacation, and even where to go out to eat when we had the opportunity.


My parents raised us to be independent thinkers. My brother and I have loads of self-esteem and we both try to make positive choices that accommodate others.


It was not fun to get spanked, but neither was it fun to be diagnosed with a life-long incurable disease. Life ‘spanked’ me, but I was prepared to adjust to a disciplined lifestyle to accommodate it because my parents taught me that sometimes consequences happen.
Sometimes, you hit a wall and you have to learn to make a new choice. Strength of character was built.

I wanted as a child to make my parents happy. I knew that they respected me, and still do-there is nothing better as an adult than to hear your parents tell you they are proud of you.I did not do everything my parents wanted me to do in this life, but they can see that I make decisions with all those around me in consideration. They taught me to accommodate life and others: Do good to others, for others, because that is what they did for me.


‘Respect’ is active, present parenting. Parenting adjusts and changes over the lifespan of a child.


Tips for Parenting with Consequences

  1. Model good behavior as the adult.
  2. Explain what is positive behavior.
  3. Give a warning of the consequence and explain a good alternative.
  4. Follow through with a consequence if the boundary is still crossed.
Not teaching the important lessons of life is neglect. 
Treating children like adults is unfortunate, short-sighted and developmentally inappropriate. It puts much too much weight on their shoulders so young. They need to learn the lessons through experiences and consequences that are modeled, taught and enforced.
You already are respecting your children. The quantity of time spent with them teaches them that they are valued, and valuable enough to require your supreme focus.
Enforcing boundaries with consequences does not disrespect them. It teaches them the strength of character that will be needed when they are approaching an intersection, watching another child get bullied at school, or get diagnosed with an incurable illness.
Life inflicts unfortunate events on us many ways and many times. We don’t always get what we want when we want it, and why would we?
Boundaries teach awareness of self, awareness of others and awareness of the world. If those boundaries are not enforced to teach the lesson that needs to be learned, then a child will not gain the ability to recognize when they are hurting another or forgetting another.
Mom sitting with child who is in time out. Text reads parenting with consequences prepares a child for life.

Understanding that consequences exist helps children learn to develop the strength of character needed to face the toughest challenges that life will throw their way.


How are you parenting with consequences in your discipline strategy?


Parenting with consequences prepares a child for life. Tips for a discipline continuum for parenting through the challenges.

This post was featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: Parenting Tips. Read more of the great articles shared Model good behavior.


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