Posts Tagged Consequences versus Contingencies

Teens and Parents

A teenager recently contacted me with the following comments:

“I am a 17 year old with ‘determined they are good at parenting’ parents. I tried to encourage my parents to read your book and they refused. So I brought up the fact that they ‘try to teach me with imposed consequences rather than contingencies.’ I was then ridiculed and belittled by my dad. (How’s that for “good parenting”?) He said that if I were mature enough I would not have said that statement. He said that consequences and contingencies are the same thing. I am now going to prove to him the difference between the two.”

I replied to the teen with the following:

The father is of the old … >>>


Use Contingencies, not Consequences, to Discipline

Although consequences can be either positive or negative, when parents refer to “consequences” for discipline purposes, these are often in terms of threats or punishments that are imposed. Using an imposed consequence to discipline only works when a young person finds value in the relationship or when the person sees value in what he is being asked to do. Otherwise, people perceive an imposed consequence in negative terms because of the inference, “Do this—or else!” It threatens pain or discomfort should the young person fail to comply with the demand.

Such is the case when the adult says, “If you continue to do that, then this is what is going to happen to you.” Additionally, telling a youngster, “You … >>>