Here is a good example of allowing the natural consequence of a situation teach your children a lesson.
Rather than lecture them about caring for borrowed property, let the person they are borrowing from teach the lesson.
- If they break something, they might have to replace it.
- They may lose the trust of the person lending.
- Or, everything can turnout fine.
No matter what they get to learn something without you having to play the villain.
I get it.
It’s hard staying quiet will all our parental threats and such.
You want to coach them.
But believe me, you’re more likely creating a wedge.
One natural consequence of returning borrowed property in damaged condition is the owner’s displeasure. Another natural consequence is the owner’s reluctance to lend you anything again. It’s also possible that the owner might change his mind if he gets some concrete evidence that it won’t happen again. But the responsibility to change is clearly the borrower’s. The owner doesn’t have to do anything to you to teach you a lesson. It’s a lot easier to learn from the hard realities of people’s real reactions than from a person who decides to punish you “for your own good.”
-Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Amazon)