Over the past few weeks we learned how effective natural impacts and logical consequences help children learn to make better choices. Today we conclude with Part 3 of our series on Consequences That Actually Work!
With a strong focus on relationships, “restitution consequences” are a type of logical consequence administered when a child has mistreated someone. The goal is to find ways to help the offender “right the wrongs” while restoring the victim and the relationship. The message to the child is: “Your relationships are valuable. When you mess them up, it’s important to do your best to reconnect.”
For example, when our oldest son would get rough or aggressive with our daughter, we encouraged him to comfort her with kindness after hurting her. This oriented him immediately toward her, and her toward him.
Restitution consequences are radically different from traditional “punishments.” Punishing the offender usually breeds resentment and therefore more and craftier aggression toward the unpunished child. Restitution consequences encourage personal responsibility and usually end with one child feeling cared for and the other feeling caring.