My husband and I were blessed to be able to attend a Parent Leadership Coaching Seminar taught by child psychologist John Rosemond back in October of 2011 that was absolutely amazing. We learned a great deal from this renowned parenting expert and much of what I have been sharing in my blog is from information we gleaned on that fabulous seminar. Although Rosemond addressed a few controversial topics, for the most part we definitely agreed with the majority of what he shared during our intensive time together. We have since become Certified Leadership Parent Coaches and have been assisting parents with issues and struggles that they face in childrearing.
One of the things that John Rosemond reminded us of that weekend was that children really do understand when they misbehave. They remember their misdeeds and can be disciplined after the fact because once they are three or four years old, they can understand consequences. Several days can go by before parents call the foul and decide what the penalty for the wrongdoing will be. With the statement, "Remember when you...?" the stage is set for the connection between their actions and the discipline. There should always be a consequence (we parents need to be consistent and clear about what that will be) and according to Rosemond, the punishment should never fit the crime...it should be bigger. He explains that if it is not bigger and does not have a significant impact, the misbehavior will be repeated.
Dr. Rosemond calls this "Delay of Consequences" and believes that delaying the penalty will have a greater effect in some situations, especially if parents need to take a step back to prevent disciplining in anger. When our children are teenagers, this strategy can be especially memorable and allow parents the necessary space and time to decide on appropriate consequences. If parents wait to lower the boom until an important event or anticipated outing, there will be fireworks for sure...but our teens will more than likely think twice about not taking responsibility for their actions, not following through with commitments or any of the numerous other bad choices they make in their teen years.
They learn, once introduced to "Delay of Consequences" that Mom and/or Dad may lower the boom at any time and it could be on Homecoming Weekend so I'd better do as they say! How nice!