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Creative Consequences in Parenting: A Plea for Help!

Can I be honest with you? Sometimes my creative juices run dry, which includes lack of ideas for creative consequences. So honestly, this post is a plea for help and space for a paired share! I’m looking for fresh creative consequences!
One day a couple months ago I was feeling particularly creative; I must have been well-rested. While my very strong-willed 7 year old chose to be disrespectful, over and over, I came up with a creative consequence that packed a real punch!
Creative Consequences 
Before I share my most recent creative consequence with you, let’s get a couple of things straight. I love my child, so very much! She’s amazing, bright, funny, creative (hmmmm…) and also very strong-willed. At the same time, as a nurturing, loving mother I also know the benefit of boundaries and that children of every age need to be taught to respect them! 
Here’s a little background. We had been having a rather challenging season in our home for the few months prior to this event as I found myself doing both the parenting of a father and a mother. I’ve not always been the best at coming up with creative consequences, that really hit home. But, this time, I was really going for a big bang!
Taking away toys doesn’t work.
Taking away dessert doesn’t work.
Taking away screen time doesn’t work because it’s minimal at my house anyway.

After a bit of brainstorming, I realized she had two faux fur vests that she couldn’t live without. Seriously, each and every day kind of can’t live without! I decided to take her beloved vests for one week. I gave her a proper warning stating clearly what I expected her to do, not do, and how she needed to choose to change her attitude if she wanted to keep these vests. If not, they would be destroyed. Unfortunately, she chose to not change her attitude and her blatant disrespect continued to show up. After a week’s time, the exact warning time I previously stated, I knew it was time to follow through. (Follow-Through: Isn’t that the key to all success? Parenting included!)

I pulled the two beautiful white faux fur vests out of their hiding place and prepared for a spectacular show. She came to me crying, asking me, “Mama, are you going to take scissors to them and shred them into pieces?” I looked at her and said, “That’s a really great idea! But no, that’s not what’s in store for today.”

Creative Consequences

I escorted her outside where I had safely put together a small fire pit; the vests were on top. I poured a little lighter fluid on them, threw in a lit match and began to watch as they went down in flames. She looked at me in disbelief and tried to run away. Finally, I told her to come back and watch what her bad choices had brought about.

I could see in her eyes that she was sad and mad. It also confirmed that sometimes it takes a creative consequence, a big production, for her to never forget that I am serious and that I follow through!

Creative Consequences
Remnants of one of the vests. If you look in the lower left corner you can even see a zipper!

Now, I understand that not all of us mamas have amazingly strong willed children like mine. But even so, we would love to hear about your most Creative Consequences that you have put to good use for instruction and training thus far! We all need a saved arsenal of awesome ideas for when we are low on energy, feeling defeated, and exhausted beyond belief.

Go, ahead: Hit me with your best shot! Fire Away!

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3 Responses to Creative Consequences in Parenting: A Plea for Help!

  1. Krystal
    Krystal June 19, 2017 at 11:51 am #

    So I need to know, did this work? Long term??

  2. The San Diego Plumber June 22, 2017 at 12:03 am #

    What happened to your daughter then? Did it work for her?

  3. Tc July 11, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

    I’m an a big fan of creative conseuences and have in the heat of the moment broken a toy or thrown away when my 5yo has been exceptionally strong-willed and disrespectful. I’m always about follow through, however she can be a bit destructive as 5yo can be and I fear it sends the wrong message that it says ok to destroy personal property. I have put sacks of toys in garage for weeks on end when toys weren’t put away after many requests and consequences stated and she earned them back with consistent good behavior at home and school. We have also threatened to donate beloved toys if behavior wasn’t in check and that usually works for her in those circumstances.

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