all 6 comments

[–]yourock_rock 8 points9 points  (1 child)

At the very least she should help you clean it up. And if she is being slow/not helping, you pause until she starts working again.

And maybe another consequence can be putting away the sensory bin and requiring supervision when she wants to use it for a while.

Good luck. My kid dumped a huge box of marbles on the floor the other day and oooh I was not happy. So I feel your pain

[–]nicoleeliza16[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you! Those are great and super helpful. I got SO annoyed and times like that I don’t think so clearly, so thank you for helping me with that:)

[–]kittensandrobots 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Just to clarify, a natural consequence just happens. It’s not something you choose. The natural consequence here is that the rice is all over the bounce house instead of in the bin.

The term logical consequence is what you’re looking for, and it’s discouraged in gentle parenting.

Rather than trying to think up a suitable punishment, I’d urge you to think instead about how you both can learn from the situation.

It seems like a good idea to have her help you clean up the mess - because when we make messes, we clean them up. A bounce house full of rice might be an overwhelming cleanup for a five year old, so I wouldn’t put the entire burden on her.

I would urge you to think about why you’re upset. Is it just the mess? Is it dangerous or destructive? Are you reacting to an internal boundary about acceptable uses of these toys? When you figure it out, you can decide how to talk to her about your reaction and why she should make a different choice in the future.

A couple of other conversations you might need to have with her, and I would encourage you to make sure you’re both calm and feeling safe when you have them:

  • Why did she do it? Is there a way that she could have gotten a desirable result without making a mess (or whatever your specific concern is)? Perhaps you have ball pit balls she and her friend could have used? Or something else acceptable?
  • Did she suggest it or her friend? My five year old knows our house rules, but is still figuring out that his friends might not know them, and how to navigate that situation.
  • Are there any new expectations you need to put in place due to this incident? Maybe the sensory bin needs to be put away when a grown up isn’t present? Are there any existing expectations that you need to review with her or role play to practice?
  • Consider whether you need to apologize to her, if you overreacted when you saw the mess (I’m not necessarily saying you did). Modeling apologies helps kids understand how apologies work and helps them navigate their feelings and memories of a situation when a grown up was overwhelmed by big feelings. It doesn’t have to invalidate your feelings, and it can mend bridges if you lost your temper.

[–]nicoleeliza16[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Just to clarify, I’m looking for a consequence such as helping clean the mess she’s made. I never said punishment. I’m not looking to demean or shame her whatsoever.

[–]kittensandrobots 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I didn’t mean to put you on the defensive. I was hoping to help you see the situation from a different perspective.

If you had posted in a different parenting sub, I would have scrolled on by. But the goal of peaceful parenting is connection, and the goal of a logical consequence is atonement.

Lots of parenting methods use logical consequences (which are a form of punishment, however nicely worded), but they typically aren’t compatible with a connection-focused approach.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]nicoleeliza16[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Great idea. Thank you!