Consequences That Actually Work! (Part 3 – Restitution Consequences)

Consequences that Actually Work 1,2,3 (2)

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!

Restitution consequences

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.

Getting Love Right – Even When it Goes Wrong.

Valentines Day do-over marriage grace

© Jiri Vaclavek |

Valentine’s Day and anniversaries are often viewed as a barometer for our romantic relationship.  But it’s NOT roses and romance a couple days a year that define a relationship — it’s the deep commitment to fight for connection no matter what.

— ROUND 1 —

Jim’s and my 25th anniversary evening was an adventure to say the least. It started out with 40 m.p.h. winds, which made our much-awaited evening on Lake Minnetonka more than a bit dicey in our little boat. We headed for land and made a wonderful camp fire.

Once we were finally settled, we asked each other this question: “What would be important in our relationship moving into our next 25 years?” And that led to some serious disagreement, our first in a long time. Tensions rose.

How could this be happening on our 25th anniversary night?! Why NOW!?