School-age kids love getting rewards, and they hate losing. That’s why something as simple as stickers can be such powerful tools in steering kids away from behaviour problems and toward making better choices in the future. Likewise, knowing that there are consequences for bad behaviour — things that they do not want, like losing TV or video game time — can be a powerful child discipline tool.
What to Put on a Consequences List
Here are some examples of what to include on a consequences list.
No Playdates with Friends
School-age kids are developing more social skills and are increasingly spending more time being with peers and making friends. They love playdates and hate the idea of anything cutting down the amount of time they have to spend with friends hanging out, playing video games, or just running around outside.
No Screen Time
Reducing screen time is something we should all be doing (parents and kids alike). But screen time is part of our lives, and most kids can balance TV, video games, and phone time with non-screen time with parents’ help. But being cut off completely? That would be a serious consequence that no school-age kid would want, and a powerful and effective item indeed on a consequences list for kids.
Doing chores should be part of every child’s routine. Chores teach kids responsibility and give them a sense of accomplishment, among other benefits. But having to do extra chores as a consequence of bad behaviour? No child wants that, thus making this consequence a useful tool.
Loss of Privilege
What that privilege is will depend on your family. Your child may lose his turn to choose what your family will have for dinner, or what board game you will play on family game night. Or she may lose their turn to choose what movie you will watch together on family movie night. Whatever the privilege is, school-age kids hate losing their turn.
No Access to a Favorite Toy or Activity
Your child may love Legos or Minecraft or making Rainbow Loom bracelets. The threat of having the thing he or she loves most right now in time-out can be a powerful motivator to steer your child toward good behaviour.