As you think about the misbehavior and decide upon a course of action, remember the “3 R’s” to ensure that consequences are both logical and helpful:
REASONABLE — A logical consequence must be reasonable — that is, appropriate to the age of the child and the severity of the behavior. Scrubbing the floor where he tracked is a reasonable consequence. It is not reasonable to have the child clean all the spots on the carpet or to forbid him to play outside for three days.
RESPECTFUL — In order to be most helpful, the consequence must be spoken and enforced respectfully. A simple explanation of the consequence diffuses negative emotions and enlists cooperation. Also, do this as soon after the infraction as possible.
When natural consequences aren’t enough, remember the 3 Rs and use a logical consequence to help your child take responsibility for their actions.