Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

What is the difference between a positive and negative consequence?

View Transcript

What is the difference between a positive and negative consequence? 

A positive consequence is when we give something positive for a good and appropriate behavior, something that we like to see. The positive consequence is something that's going to reinforce that behavior, so it's going to make it more likely that the behavior happens again. That's why we look for something that the kids really like, that they enjoy, that they're motivated to earn, and want to get. Because then, they're motivated to behave the way we want them to, knowing that that behavior is tied to those rewards.

The negative consequence, that's something that in a way, punishes, so that it takes them from not wanting to be there again. They had a behavior that led to a negative consequence, they're not going to like it. So extra chores, lot of times, that's what I would recommend for a negative consequence.

With the younger kids, we have a time-out. A time-out should be time out from life around the child, so no attention or anything. While they are sitting there, they have to observe life going on around them. That's a negative consequence because they can see all this stuff around them they'd want to participate in that they can't until the time-out is over.

Now, with older kids, time-out's not very effective. What is effective for older kids  going after those things that are important to them. For adolescents that might be cellphones, car keys, computers and those other kinds of things that they can't live without. Take those away. They no longer have access to them until they want to do a little extra work that you want to give them. So give them some extra chores, maybe some bigger chores that they don't normally do, and now they have to do that to be able to have access to all the stuff that they can't live without.

So really, the negative consequence is something that puts them in a place, so that they realize, "I don't want to be here anymore." It's adding contrast from their everyday life and making it so it's much more negative. They're losing the things they can't live without. They have to do extra work to get it back, so that's going to be a big motivation for them to avoid displaying those negative behaviors.

Untitled 1
87% of your donation goes to save children Donate Now