‘Positive consequences’ could finally get your child to listen to you - here’s how to use them

“Using positive consequences creates positive association with the behaviour and parent”

Parent talking to their child
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A parenting expert has broken down how to use ‘positive consequences’ to get your child to listen to you and understand the consequences of their bad behaviour better - here’s how to keep your cool and use them effectively. 

When faced with bad behaviour, a tantrum, or plain stubbornness from a child, it can be easy to lose your cool, especially when it's just be 'one of those days.' No matter what parenting style you chose to follow, the mental load of parenting day in and day out can often just become too much and snapping at bad behaviour is all too easy. 

But one parenting expert has now urged parents to remove the negativity from their reprimands, no matter how many times they've been forced to wonder if their child is actually even listening to them, and use 'positive consequences' to get that naughty behaviour better under control.  

Taking to Instagram, parenting expert Ralphie, known as SimplyOnPurpose online, shared, "Parents always want to be pointing a figure at what TO DO, not what not to do. Positive consequences do just that. They get the good going. 

"It's very natural for parents to use threats of taking things away to motivate their kids," she says adding the example, "If you don't keep your hands to yourself then we are leaving!"

But Ralphie wants us to flip that negative into a positive. "Using positive consequences adds to a child's life and creates positive association with the behaviour and parent," she explains. "If you can keep your hands to yourself then we can stay and play."

The simple idea at the core of positive consequences is to encourage good behaviour instead of punishing bad behaviour. By being gentler with the way we speak to kids during their emotional outbursts, we can show them that we acknowledge the feeling causing their bad behaviour while still condemning the behaviour itself. This gentle approach will help the child feel safe and make them more likely to listen to reprimands and change their behaviour. 

The idea goes hand in hand with many of the parenting hacks that have recently been shared online, from the gentle way to deal with children who laugh in your face when you reprimand them to the simple routine switch that will make your kids listen more and pushback less.

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.