Consequences are Better Than Punishment

Consequences are Better Than Punishment

Sometimes, when I am angry and full of wrath, my responses to my kids’ misbehavior crosses a line from being consequence into being a punishment.

A couple problems with that:

  1. The world doesn’t operate on punishment – it operates on consequences. Life is about cause and effect – RESULTS. We want to raise kids who understand real cause and effect, NOT kids who are simply afraid of what we will do to them. Results teach. Anger, punishment and threats just don’t seem to teach as well.


  2. Punishment tends to lead to resentment and distance in the relationship. The hard feelings created by punishment often linger and drive a wedge between us and kids at a crucial time when we should be viewed as an ally, not an enemy.

So much better that kids learn to be responsible for solving the problems they cause than feel punished - while the adults take on all the responsibility of fixing the problem. We have long taught ways to better handle discipline using empathy and logical, thoughtful and sometimes delayed consequences.

So, if kids are causing problems, we can expect them to solve them. If they choose not to solve those problems, we can take care of it in a way that costs them something. Doesn’t this mirror the real world? When we don’t solve problems, we end up paying for them one way or the other.

Ultimately, Love and Logic Is about teaching kids logical cause and effect. It is about building relationships and preserving dignity. Our mission is to help adults raise more respectful and responsible kids. Our hope is to help them find better ways to hold kids accountable. We are proud to teach skills that keep kids learning from real results and preserve dignity by steering adults away from punishment.

The bottom line: Expecting kids to solve problems is more effective than punishing them.

“Discipline is helping a child solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solutions, not retribution.”   L.R. Knost


Thanks for reading and sharing!

Jedd Hafer

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