When Natural Consequences Go Wrong

I've always been a "natural consequences" kind of mom. I figure that learning things through negative consequences is always more effective than a lecture. You wanna wear your sweatshirt in 98 degree heat? Fine, see how that works for you. You insist on putting hot sauce all over your dinner? Fine, that's what you will eat. Wanna stick your finger in a electric socket? Okay, that one I might intervene on.

The other night, we decided to try some natural consequences with India, who was throwing a fit because we would not give her any coffee. Mark and I craftily decided that we would just give her some black decaf coffee in her sippee cup, and figured that would be the end of it. I mean, what kid would enjoy bitter, unsweetened Illy decaf?

Wrong. India drank the entire cup. She paraded around with glee all evening, gloating about her very own coffee.


  1. I just hate when the natural consequences go wrong...
    Thank God it was decaf!

  2. That is no fun, now she is going to keep wanting some. Grrr. It's not a great habit, but I started giving my daughter very diluted hot chocolate when I had my morning coffee when she was 2. It was basically warm milk with a teaspoon of hot chocolate powder. We are off the daily habit, but now when she has it we are up to a tablespoon of powder.

  3. No way?! She didn't.

    Get that girl a Starbucks gift card for her birthday. ;)

  4. Oh no!

    We had an experience where Emma refused to take off her socks on a slippery floor. End result? A goose-egg on her forehead. Sigh.

  5. My daughter (when she was 4) picked up my lukewarm coffee cup and I thought it would be funny to see her reaction...she drank it and no funny yucky expression. This happened several times...I asked her if she thought it was yucky...she said "No, it tastes like the morning drink Nins (great grandma) gives me when I stay over there." I found out she gives her 1/3 coffee in her milk every morning with a little heap of sugar.....some kind of family tradition, great.

  6. so does she have her own coffee mug now?

  7. I have a mental picture of little India sitting in her high chair at breakfast tomorrow morning banging her sippy cup on the table demanding her cup-of-joe. (smiling)

  8. Hey now that's just bringing her up right ;-) Lol! Hilarious though! We're natural consequence parents too - my husband more so than myself. My sons are always asking to drink my coffee but i just plain don't want to share! :-P

  9. I've been giggling about this since last week. (My commenting is often days behind my reading, since I'm usually nursing while I go through Bloglines.)

    I've had natural consequences go wrong, too. "If you don't put your clothes on right now, you aren't going to the park." "Fine, I don't want to go!"

    Ummm. Whoops. "Too bad! We have to go! We're meeting people there! Now get your clothes on!"

  10. I'm laughing so hard that my husband is asking what's wrong. I just finished reading the beach/bike dog poop story.

    You little one just got to do something she knew she wasn't supposed to do. She looks so happy.
    Don't worry. Now that the thrill is gone I'm sure she'll be on the look out for the next thing.
    At least that's what mine would do!


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