We’ve all been there – your consequences keep growing in intensity but you still feel like your child doesn’t care. The reason we’re usually escalating consequences in the first place is because we’re becoming more emotionally involved than we should be. If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is get back to an emotionally neutral state before you ever hand out consequences for your child.
One way to accomplish this is writing down major and minor consequences before your child misbehaves. This simplifies calm parenting because you know exactly what consequence comes next, and there’s no room for your emotions to make the situation more unpleasant.
Effective consequences are not fun but also don’t last long. For example, hour-long consequences are better than consequences that span multiple days. In fact, long-lasting consequences only leave room for one game – your child beats you at caring less. This is where parents are emotionally affected, and things go bad quickly.
If your calm parenting efforts fail and your consequences keep escalating out of control after your child misbehaves, it might be time to seek help from your pediatrician or child psychiatrist.
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The St. Louis Children’s Hospital YouTube channel is intended as a reference and information source only. If you suspect you have a health problem, you should seek immediate care with the appropriate health care professionals. The information in this web site is not a substitute for professional care, and must not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. For help finding a doctor, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Answer Line may be of assistance at 314.454.KIDS (5437). The opinions expressed in these videos are those of the individual writers, not necessarily St. Louis Children’s Hospital or Washington University School of Medicine. BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine assume no liability for the information contained in this web site or for its use.