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Parents have the responsibility of helping a child learn about future consequences. Anticipating consequences is called ‘wisdom’.

One of the most effective ways to teach this principle is to teach the child “if, then” statements.

For example, an “if, then” statement would be “If you do not clean up your room, then you will receive a time out.”

When we teach a child that there will be a consequence and then follow through, the child learns to make certain choices and those choices will lead to certain consequences.

It is fun to imagine with your child different scenarios and have them guess what the consequence would be for different choices. This ‘guessing game’ can be very fun and extremely enlightening for your child and for you.

For example, you might say:

  • “What would be the consequence if you decide to smoke?
  • Play with your little sister for 15 minutes?
  • Instead of writing a 3 page theme paper for your teacher, write 4?
  • Swear in class?Don’t brush your teeth?
  • Say ‘thank you’ often to your mother or teacher?”

This can be one of the most effective ways to teach moral judgement. Remember, don’t lecture, listen.

Warm Regards

Dr. Randy Hyde