Why should I do it:
- Provides powerful instances to teach alternative behaviors and expectations
- Does not involve adults imposing rules on a child to make a point
- The child generates the consequence themselves
- The child sees a direct relationship between their behaviors and actions and the effects of them
- The child learns by doing
When should I do it:
- There are numerous reasons and times you may use natural consequences, for example:
- When a child is running in the hall and bumps another student, falling and hurting their elbow
- When a child fails to put something away and loses it
- When a child procrastinates and does not get an assignment or task completed in the time allowed
- When a student says or does something to another student and that student does not want to be around or play with them
How do I do it:
- Use a calm and neutral tone when speaking with the child
- Ask the student about what they did and the result
- Have the student explain the connection between their actions and the outcome, cause/effect
- Ask the student what they will do differently next time
- Emphasize what happened when they did the behavior and why the rule about the behavior is in place because of this
Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)
- Washington State Department of Social & Health Services. Natural Consequences. [http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/fosterparents/training/natlog/nat02.htm].
- Love and Logic Program. [http://www.loveandlogic.com/educators-articles.html].
- University of Kansas. Natural and Logical Consequences. [http://www.specialconnections.ku.edu/?q=behavior_plans/classroom_and_group_support/teacher_tools/natural_and_logical_consequences].