Logical Consequences are often confused with Natural Consequences. They are in fact very different. Logical consequences are something that the are created by parents/teacher to teach a child a lesson. They related to the problem or situation, but they do not happen on their own in the way that Natural Consequences do.
According to our Tool Card, Logical Consequences are to be used rarely. When we do use them we need to follow the Four R's of Logical Consequences: 1. Related 2. Respectful 3. Reasonable 4. Revealed in advance if possible.
The important thing to remember when working on logical consequences is that they are meant to teach not punish. As soon as the consequence becomes punitive it is no longer teaching, at least not teaching what you are hoping to. Let's look at teach of the four R's. For the consequence to be related it must be something that happens as a direct result of a behavior or action. To be respectful means that it is not punitive, belittling or humiliating to the child in anyway created by you. A Reasonable consequence is not extreme or impossible for the child to achieve. For the consequence to be revealed in advance the parent/teacher needs to be proactive in their thinking. What might happen here and how will it be remedied?
Here is an example that meets all the r's. Your child and friend decide they are going to have a lemonade stand all by themselves. You think, "what a fun idea!" and then you think to yourself what might go wrong? They might make a huge mess in the kitchen, they might break one of your kitchen tools, etc. To be proactive you tell them that they are allowed to use the items in the kitchen, but if anything gets broken they will be responsible for replacing it. As suspected a glass pitcher gets broken in the process. You help the girls clean it up and they continue with their project. After the lemonade sale is over you offer to take them to the store so that they can purchase a pitcher to replace the one they broke using their profits. The logical consequence here is that they have to replace the broken pitcher with a new one. It is clearly related - break a pitcher, buy a pitcher. It is respectful to the children in the sense that they are only replacing what they broke, and it is respectful to you as you will not have your things broken and not replaced. It is Reasonable because they are replacing that they can afford to replace with their earnings. It was revealed to them in advance and came as no shock when they had to replace the broken item.
It is not always easy to follow all four R's. If you can't then you need to ask yourself if it is really a tool you should be using at the time. Remember there are many other tools, this one should only be used when appropriate.
Come back later this week and read about Natural Consequences and how they are different!