Natural and Logical Consequences for Behaviour

Natural and Logical Consequences for Behaviour

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Positive consequences reinforce and strengthen a behaviour, while negative consequences help reduce or eliminate a behaviour. Learning through experiencing consequences is much more powerful than through a lecture or punishment. Using consequences for misbehaviour is an effective teaching method for dealing with behaviour problems in children and teens.

Natural and logical consequences can help with behaviour change.

Natural consequences.

These are the experiences that naturally follow a choice or behaviour. For example, going out in cold weather without a coat naturally leads to feeling cold.

Logical consequences.

These are consequences chosen to follow behaviours that violate the acceptable behaviour within a family or other group. These consequences are set up to logically follow when a person breaks family rules, values, or acceptable behaviours. For example, a young child who throws a toy may be required to take a time-out to calm down and think about their behaviour. An older child might lose a privilege for unacceptable behaviour.


Current as of: March 1, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics