Natural and Logical Consequences for Behaviour

Natural and Logical Consequences for Behaviour

Topic Contents


Consequences result from our actions.

  • Natural consequences 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 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 his or her behaviour. An older child might lose a privilege for unacceptable behaviour.

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.


Current as of: September 20, 2021

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