My daughter and I were heading out the other day and it was cold. We were both decently clothed however when it came to putting on shoes my daughter decided she wanted to wear flip flops.
WHAT!!!!! No way, I explained to her that it was cold and sneakers with socks would be a better choice. She was insistent that she was warm (even got me to feel her body) and that she wanted to wear flip flops.
Instead of arguing with her I instead decided to let her, I explained that it is cold and she is not to complain of having cold feet, she is not to complain as it was her choice.
She felt empowered being able to walk around outside in in flip flops. After a while on our outing I noticed that she was not as warm as she had hoped that she would be in flip flops. She feet looked like they were going to be slightly blue. Any way as agreed she did not say a word.
As her mother I wanted to call her out and say I told you so. Instead I kept quite noticed and continued my day.
Later that day I dropped her off to my mom’s house and I continued home. Within 2 minutes I receive a phone call from my mum going is that the only shoes she has. She is telling me she is freezing and her feet are cold. How come you let her go out in flip flops.
I took a deep breath, smiled and explained that she chose to go out in thongs and that she was not to complain that she is cold. Inside I was annoyed as I was getting accused and judged as a parent where the full background was not known and secretly smiling that my daughter has learnt a valuable lesson.
Since that day when we head out now when we head out, flip flops have not been an option.
I have learnt in time that sometimes we need to let natural consequences play out. Instead of yelling and nagging for them to do something and then everyone ends up in a negative mood. Let children make their own choices.
The same goes with forgetting, being late and so forth.
By letting the natural consequence play out your child will learn a valuable lesson.
let them forget their drink bottle on a warm day and next time they will be sure to take it.
The biggest challenge (well for me anyway) with natural consequences is feeling like a failure as a parent and sometimes that comes from the judgement from others. It is easy to say not to worry about and to live our own life which is true.
The potential way to move on from that is to explain (usually best out of ear shot of the kids), what you are doing. Let them know that your kids are now old enough to make their own decisions or be responsible for remembering to bring their necessary items. If it doesn’t go to plan (they get cold), they can learn the valuable lesson.