Natural Consequences

Student Contributor: B. Brattin
Natural consequences are the outcomes or the consequence that happens as a result of the behavior. They are not preplanned consequences the teacher has in place if something happens. This tool is helpful because the consequence will naturally happen and be connected with the actual misbehavior, therefore it will make sense to the child.

The natural consequence tool should be used naturally after a behavior or problem happens. For example, if a student were to get mad at another student for always winning in tether ball then the natural consequence could be that they no longer play at the same tetherball pole. An important element to keep in mind when using natural consequences is that sometimes they are not enough, and a more logical consequence may need to be put in place. Although it is very important to keep in mind that the consequence should always be related to the actual misbehavior. For example, if a child didn’t fold the laundry, the consequence shouldn’t be that they don’t get to play on the iPad, the consequence should be that now they have to fold double the laundry. This is important because then the consequence is related and reasonable. A personal experience happened to my best friend when we were in first grade. She always ate lots and lots of candy and didn’t ever brush her teeth before bedtime, which is the most important time. As a result, her natural consequence was getting a rotten tooth, having to get it removed and getting a spacer put between her teeth.

I placed the natural consequences tool in the corrective stage because consequences are there to hopefully correct the misbehavior or action so that it doesn’t happen again. This tool could relate to the preventative stage because after the consequence is given, the teacher or parent is hoping that it will prevent them from doing the misbehavior or action again. Student-directed is the theory that I believe this tool best fits under. I think it does because natural consequences are natural that happen to the student after something they do, they are not the type of consequences that are preplanned by the teacher. Student-directed theory says that the students are very independent and in control of their own behavior, therefore I believe the natural consequences tool aligns nicely with this theory.

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Tool Source: Gus gave me this idea when discussing consequences to our class.

1 thought on “Natural Consequences”

  1. The first time I tried this tool was on a class of around 14 first graders from a rural community. This was very easy to use because what happened made sense to not only me, the teacher, but the students as well. I have tried this one out, many times not only in the first grade but all the way up to fifth and sixth grades, and each time it’s worked. Students knew that the consequence was directly attached to the behavior and that usually the consequence fixed said behavior (ex. running down the hall, try again walking). The students understood what they needed to do to make things right and if there was any confusion, I was able to rephrase the consequence and they would understand. I think the only thing that we can do to make this better is making sure that the natural consequences are immediate, or as soon after the behavior as we can be.


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