Charlotte Mason did not have any children, but she had a wealth of knowledge about child discipline and habit training. So what do Charlotte Mason & Positive parenting have in common?? Natural Consequences!! The way you should handle your child’s discipline is spoken of often in Charlotte Mason’s volumes.
So, I’m going to discuss one topic in particular that I’ve taken away from reading her works and many other great Charlotte Mason themed books.
Charlotte Mason & Positive Parenting
Charlotte Mason speaks in her books about natural consequences.
Whenever we are habit training our children this comes into play. You may be thinking, what does habit training have to do with discipline? Well, the answer is everything!
Everything we do is by habit. From the time we are babies we are developing habits. They can be good ones or bad ones.
Charlotte Mason encourages using consequences that are directly related to the child’s action.
There is a law by which all rewards and punishments should be regulated: they should be the natural, or, at any rate, the relative consequences of conduct.Charlotte Mason , Volume 1
So what is a natural consequence?
So what is a natural consequence? It’s a consequence that is the natural result of an action.
For example, if my son wants to take his brand new set of Hotwheels that he got for Christmas to his cousin’s house, I will let him.
But, if he neglects to clean them up after playing with them… or put them back in his bag, he has to deal with the natural consequences. Which… in this case… would be that he no longer has his brand new set of Hotwheels to play with at home.
What do you think he would learn from this scenario?
He would learn that if he doesn’t take care of his things, he won’t have them to play with anymore.
Sometimes natural consequences are hard. For the parent and for the child. In my example above, it would be hard for me not to step in and say, “Don’t take your new cars! You will lose them!” Just to spare him the pain.
However, it’s good to let your child learn responsibility in this way! Experience is the best remedy here. When they learn from experience, it’s a lot less likely to happen again.
Where do you draw the line??
As with any other form of discipline, we have to draw a line. Obviously, you are not going to let our child run out in front of a moving vehicle to let them learn from their own actions.
Let’s be real here…
You want what is best for your child, so… naturally… we don’t want any harm to come to them.
So, if there is anything that would cause physical harm to your child, by all means… step in! We don’t have to let them live by a mistake if it’s going to hurt them physically.
Learning from natural consequences will hurt their feelings… yes. But, know that they are learning for the benefit of forming good and even great habits in the future.
Children can learn so much from natural consequences.
I will be 100% honest with you. For a long time I was the helicopter mommy following my children around… on edge every second. No, No, No! (That’s what I felt like my only vocabulary consisted of.)
Then… I realized that there is a better way of going about this. Children do not need to be constantly drilled with no’s in order for them to behave or become good respectable adults. There is room for leeway!
There are some things that are not worth the no.
I used to catch myself saying no to some of the silliest things ever! Then after reading Charlotte Mason’s books, I realized that I should be letting somethings happen so they can learn from their own mistakes.
I want to hear from you!
What are your thoughts on natural consequences when it comes to disciplining your child?
Want to read more on this topic? Check out this article on Positive Parenting and Charlotte Mason by The Holistic Homeschooler