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Natural consequences can be quite instructive for your child, and all you have to do is sit back and let the laws of nature do the teaching. The feedback your child receives from natural consequences can be less than pleasant, such as when he or she learns that going without a raincoat or umbrella on a rainy day results in getting uncomfortably wet. Natural consequences can also teach positive lessons, such as that a good night’s sleep results in feeling rested and more ready to take on the challenges life has to offer.

With cooler weather on the way, one of the typical disagreements parents can anticipate is a child’s not wanting to wear a heavy jacket to school. Even if you are able to force your child to leave the house wearing a coat, once out of view, he or she may just take it off. So, if your typically healthy child resists dressing warmly, let nature take over rather than continue struggling. Let your child make the decision and live with the consequence. Being cold may soon seem like not such a “cool” idea after all. If Mother Nature can do this teaching for you, why take on the conflict?

When your child learns a lesson through natural consequences, try not to gloat with an “I told you so” or sarcasm. If your now-chilly child, for example, mentions that he or she feels cold, simply say, “Yes, it is very cold today.”