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Whether kids or adults, everyone has to deal with the fact that behavior, all the choices we make, have consequences. Teaching kids, or even adults, to be mindful of others is something that can be so difficult at times as we are all selfish by nature, but it is so necessary.
I find that she teaching kids things, it is helpful to have some sort of story, visual, catchy phrase, or analogy. For this reason, I came up with a catchy phrase when it comes to making the correlation between behavior and consequences.
This is a saying that we keep posted on the wall in our kitchen/dining/main living area. It is laminated, and it is just part of life. Sometimes, I repeat this to my kids when needed, and sometimes I just point to the sign. In some ways, it’s kind of like another member of our family LOL!
As our kids get older, we as parents want to give our kids the freedom to make their own choices. in increasing amounts. Just like us as their parents, they are learning their choices will always have consequences, and that these consequences aren’t always good. This seems so basic, and it is, but this is a lesson that we all have to learn one way or the other. As in so many things, isn’t it better that our kids learn this under the protection of our umbrella when the consequences are smaller?!
Ideally, we as people would always receive consequences that are appropriate to our behavior, however, this is not always the case. Sometimes we are mistreated, misinterpreted, taken advantage of, or wrongfully punished. Yet even in these cases, our kids are learning valuable lessons. Even in these situations, our kids will be behaviorally responding, which again means that even in their reaction, they have the option of choosing good behavior or bad.
The bottom line is, every decision has consequences, whether good or bad, but I would much rather have this concept ingrained now, when my kids are under my roof, rather than when they are off on their own and paying the brunt of their consequences all on their own. I would rather have my kids learn and proactive being kind, gracious, soft-spoken, controlled, and mindful of others as kids rather than as adults.
For this reason, this is a concept that I have set out to be intentional in teaching my kids. This catchy phrase is something that our kids know, and know well. Although not always easy, my kids are aware that their behavior will always have consequences. Do they always get it right? Of course not. Do I as their mom always get it right? I wish I did. However, this is a great phrase that has really driven this concept home.
Without further delay, this is one of my favorite sayings to teach our kids to be mindful of the choices they make:
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