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Steps for Using Consequences to Stop Misbehavior

Step 2: Give a warning

Little girl playing with Legos

Give your child a warning that the behavior needs to change. Let her know she will get a consequence she does not like if her behavior doesn’t change. Using “If-Then” statements are a good way to give the warning to your child. You might say, “If you don’t stop throwing the toy, then I’m going to take it away.”

Only use a warning if you are willing to follow through with the consequence. Follow through with the consequence every time you give a warning. If you don’t, your child will not take the warning seriously. In the warning, be specific about what you expect from your child. If your child is banging pans on the table, you may say, “If you don’t play gently with the pans, they will be put away for the rest of the day.”

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