Category Archives: Parenting Tips

What Am I Feeling: A Lecture on Emotional Coaching

This is a lecture I gave to some parents on emotional coaching back when I was a reading therapist. =)


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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Parenting Tips


Excerpts from PsychConsult’s seminars

I attended these seminars given by PsychConsult Inc. last Saturday, March 5, 2011. These seminars were “Improving Social Skills in Children” and “Strategies in Dealing with Bullies in School”. These seminars are very rich and insightful. I’m still in the process of transcribing and digesting my notes. However, I’d like to share some salient points that were mentioned:

  • Friends can help. Our most important resources in a bullying incident are the quiet ones – the bystanders. Their silence contributes to the prevalence of bullying in schools. We sometimes encourage them to silent so that they wouldn’t be in harms way. “Kung hindi mo away, huwag ka nang makialam Baka ikaw pa ang mapag-initan.” Do we give this message to our children? Maybe we could analyze the reminders we give to them so that we encourage them to become advocates rather than unaffected onlookers during a bullying incident.


  • Stop the urge to bully. We often attend to the bullied; however the kid who bullies have needs also which are not met. These unmet needs are often the cause of the urge to bully. Some of them may have unrealistic high regard (but empty) for self, lacks attention and supervision at home, poor impulse control, and poor empathy for others. Some may even have unresolved issues because they have been bullied in the past as well. If we are able to address these and highlight their competence and talents, then the urge to bully may also be minimized.


  • Conflict is not a fight to win, but a problem to solve. Even adults like us could learn this lesson. 🙂


  • Sumbungero vs. Nagsusumbong. There is a big difference between the two. Dr. Alianan clarified that a “sumbungero” is someone who tells an elaborate and false tale in order to get someone in trouble. A “nagsusumbong” is someone who merely reports the truth. Again, students we should empower students to be advocates. One of the things we should get out of the way in school is the stigma of being the “tattler”. Edmund Burke once said that. “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” This statement rings truth even in society at large.


  • Do not think about green mangoes. Repeat that to yourself a number of times, and what do you think of? Are you successful in removing the image of green mangoes from your mind? I didn’t think so. Bullying campaigns help but, just as how futile it is to forget green mangoes by telling oneself not to think about green mangoes, it does not take our students’ mind off “bullying” Maybe, instead of coming up with “No to Bullying” campaigns, we could make “Yes to Kindness” and “Yes to Tolerance” campaigns.


  • Violence begets violence. This is one of the more controversial points of the talk. Dr. ALianan mentioned that spanking justifies violence in children. It shows them that it is okay to hurt someone for as long as he has done something which is wrong and offensive. Children who are spanked often may also take it out on their classmates who they perceive to be weaker and more vulnerable than they are. We should also regulate the amount of violence our children are exposed to from the video games, movies, and TV shows they see. It makes them desensitized to people’s suffering which, in turn, makes it all too easy to hurt one another. Finally, studies show that punishment does not necessarily encourage new behavior, but affirming new behavior encourages the rate of its occurrence in the future.


I will write an entry about everything that I’ve learned from those seminars soon. Many thanks to Dr. Boboy Sze Alianan, Ms. Berny Go, and the rest of the PsychConsult Inc. staff for a wonderful and insightful back-to-back seminar.

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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Bullying, Parenting Tips


Natural and Logical Consequences

Cartoon: "Maybe I should have worn a coat."

What is this about?

The use of natural and logical consequences may be appropriate when your child’s behavior is unacceptable. The use of natural and logical consequences encourages your child to take responsibility for his or her own behavior and allows your child to learn from nature and society.

[Cartoon: Child cleaning rug thinking, "I hate cleaning the rug, it would have been easier to take my shoes off."]What will I learn?

  • What natural and logical consequences are
  • The differences between natural and logical consequences
  • How to apply natural and logical consequences to unacceptable behavior

What’s in it for me?

Using consequences as a method of discipline helps motivate your child to make responsible decisions, without forcing him or her to submit to authoritarian control.


[Cartoon: Staying up late and falling asleep in school]

Natural consequences are those things that happen in response to your child’s behavior without parental involvement. These are imposed by nature, society, or another person. You do not actually deliver a natural consequence yourself. Instead, you allow nature or society to impose the consequence on your child by not interfering.

Child’s Behavior Natural Consequence
Stays up late and is late for school She feels tired the next day, the teacher is angry and makes her stay after school.
Refuses to wear mittens Her hands get cold.
Refuses to eat dinner She feels hungry.
Smokes marijuana She feels “high” and gains acceptance from peers. She may be suspended from school if caught.
Shoplifts clothes at store She gets free clothes. She may be caught and arrested.
Plays with cigarette lighter She burns her hand or possibly sets the house on fire.
Leaves toys out in the rain The toys rust or are stolen.

[Cartoon: Leaving tricycle outside and having it rust]

Natural consequences are a very effective form of discipline. However, you can see from the examples above that natural consequences do not always deter behavior. Here are some examples of when natural consequences do not work:

  • [Cartoon: Eating a specially prepared late dinner]If you interfere with a natural consequence it will not work. For example, by fixing a later meal after your child refuses to eat dinner, you will stop the natural consequence of hunger. You are also encouraging the unacceptable behavior by responding with special attention. Similarly, by forcing your child to wear a coat, she will not experience the natural consequence of being cold.
  • Your child’s misbehavior can be encouraged by a natural consequence. For instance, shoplifting without being caught results in free clothes.
  • Something you see as unpleasant, like cold hands, may not matter to your children.
  • [Cartoon: father taking away matches and substituting a flashlight]The natural consequence may be too dangerous. Never allow the natural consequence to endanger the health and safety of your child. For example, playing with matches may lead to a fire.

Natural consequences only work if they are undesirable to your child and you do not interfere. Carefully choose the conditions when you allow natural consequences to occur and they will be very effective.


[Cartoon: Child skipping chores and then having to clean up yard]

Logical consequences are options you suggest to your child. They are different from natural consequences because they are presented by you instead of nature or society. You should choose consequences directly related to the unacceptable behavior. For example, if your child skips a chore have her do an extra chore; don’t take away TV. If she leaves a mess, have her clean two rooms; don’t ground her for a week.

[Cartoon: Parent to child "After you clean up your room, we can go play catch."]Other examples include:

  • You may turn the volume down or use headphones or listen to the radio in your room.
  • If your toys are not picked up before bedtime, they will be put in this box at the back of the basement.
  • If you won’t change out of your good clothes, stay in the house and find something to do inside.

You can give positive and negative consequences.

Positive consequences are things your children like. This varies for different kids. Examples of positive consequences are:

  • After you can clean your room, we can go play catch.
  • You may watch TV when you finish your homework.

[Cartoon: Parent to child, "No movie if you're not home for dinner."]Negative consequences are things your child does not like. Some examples are:

  • If you are not home in time for dinner, you may not go to the movie.
  • If you don’t bring your bike into the garage, you will not be allowed to ride it tomorrow.
  • If you will not honor my request for help then I will not honor your request for a ride to a friend’s house.

It is important to emphasize the positive. Give more positive consequences than negative.


[Cartoon: Giving a consequence]

Here are a few guidelines for giving a consequence:

  • Give the consequence immediately following the unacceptable behavior. Don’t give the consequence tomorrow or next week.
  • Be clear. Your foster child may have a different definition of the task. Say “Make your bed and pick up your clothes and toys” instead of “Clean your room.”[Cartoon: Child wearing headphones to listen to music]
  • Give brief choices. Do not wander into a long discussion about irresponsibility. State the consequence in a sentence or two.
  • Be consistent. Do not give a small consequence one time and then a big one the next time for the same behavior. For example if the stereo is too loud, don’t suggest putting on headphones the first time, then ground your child for two weeks the next time.
  • Follow through. If your child earns a positive or negative consequence, always give it to him or her right away.

How to avoid problems while giving a consequence:

  • Never use a threat, such as “You’re going to get it!” or “Do that again and I’ll break your neck.” Threats have no teaching value. A previously abused child may take you seriously and think you are going to harm him or her. A child acting out of fear will not be learning to problem-solve.[Cartoon: No bribes]
  • Do not confuse a consequence with a bribe. A bribe is a reward given in advance, for example, “I’ll let you go play if you’ll clean up your room later.” With a bribe your child is rewarded for inappropriate behavior, instead of earning the reward with positive behavior.
  • Be careful of giving too many negative consequences and not enough positive.
  • Do not let negative consequences snowball. Your child may taunt you by continuing to misbehave while you add consequence after consequence. You can find yourself in a position where you have promised more consequences than you can deliver. If you ground her for a year and take away her allowance, TV, and phone privileges you have very few consequences left for the next problem. Your child may also feel she has nothing left to lose and continue to misbehave.
  • Do not start with huge consequences. If you ground your child for a month right away, then what is next? If your child earns $100 sneakers for cleaning her room, she will expect more for larger jobs. Use the smallest possible consequence.
  • Don’t give up after a few tries. Consequences must be repeated consistently over a long period of time to have a lasting effect on behavior.


[Cartoon: Child taking off muddy boots to avoid cleaning rug]

The use of natural and logical consequences is an effective form of discipline.[Cartoon: Child wearing coat to avoid being cold]

  • It helps your child develop responsibility and a positive self-concept.
  • It helps your child learn to problem solve ways of getting more rewards for positive behavior.
  • It promotes self respect.
  • It helps maintain a positive relationship between you and your child.

When using natural consequences:

  • Choose the situation carefully. Don’t put your child in danger.
  • Let the consequence have its effect; do not interfere.

When using logical consequences:[Cartoon: Doing chores to avoid logical consequence]

  • Be consistent and follow through.
  • Use the smallest consequence possible.

Use positive consequences more often than negative consequences.

Article from:  The Washington State Online Foster Parent Class

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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Parenting Tips


Parenting Through Logical Consequences

Do you find yourself in situations similar to the illustration above?  Read the article below to find out how you can avoid it through a Logical Consequence style of parenting.  =)

Mr. Peña

Rudolf Dreikurs, M.D, was an Adlerian psychiatrist who fostered the concept of using logical consequences in parenting. He believed that all behavior is purposeful, and that effective parenting involves allowing children to experience the consequences of their own behavior.

My own parenting mantra is, never do for a child what he can do for himself. When parents overfunction and care-take for their children, they render them helpless. In such cases, the parent’s expectations are born out of their need to fulfill their own personal desires, not those of their child. Such expectations held by parents are more likely to foster a sense of personal disappointment than fulfillment.

Parenting involves assisting and encouraging children to ultimately learn to lead their own life. This process is called individuation. It calls for a parenting process that puts the onus of responsibility for appropriate, fulfilling behavior on the child.

I can still remember my mother fixing us our early morning breakfast. Everything was laid out for me including the cereal and spoon. All I had to do was chew my food. With this caretaking pattern well established in our household by my mother, I learned very early in life that there was a payoff for acting helpless. Mom would always be there to do for meeven in the times she resented it. It wasn’t until I left for college that I fully realized my total lack of self-reliance and self-confidence.

Good parenting involves teaching children that there are consequences for a lack of follow-through. When children are doing poorly in a class at school and parents attempt to change the instructional environment, they are ignoring the use of logical consequences. When a child calls his mother from school because he forgot his lunch or project, the mother teaches the child dependency by bailing him out. When a parent wakes a child from sleep without teaching him how to use an alarm clock, he teaches his child to be manipulative. Poor parenting also occurs when a father or mother provides a child with an allowance without any expectations regarding household responsibilities.

Here are some parenting guidelines to assist in fostering logical consequences for your child:

  • Build mutually respectful involvement with your child.

  • Set appropriate limits and boundaries for your child. Learn to say no and mean it!

  • Don’t get caught up in your child’s reactions to logical consequences. Detach yourself from his temper tantrums. For example, if he carries on about not liking what you are making for dinner, tell him to make his own.

  • Never try to discuss consequences with your children after they are established. Tell your child that the consequences not negotiable and are not open for explanation.

  • Use logical consequences, rather than punishment. For example, if you are a teacher and a child disrupts your class, have a private place in the room where he can go until he makes a commitment to behave appropriately. Punishment, i.e. yelling or sending the child to the office tends to create power struggles and may cause you to lose a sense of respect and control in the eyes of the child.

  • Never let a child off the hook. Don’t make excuses or accept excuses for inappropriate behavior. Allow your child to experience the natural consequences from misbehavior.

Parenting is an art. But with the use of logical consequences as a parenting technique, your child will learn to develop self-confidence and responsibility for his behavior.

James P. Krehbiel is a licensed professional counselor, nationally certified cognitive-behavioral therapist in private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona, and a regular contributor to He can be reached at (480) 664-6665 or via email

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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Parenting Tips