5 Steps in Making Loss of Privileges Effective


1.     State a brief, clear, and specific command to your child. For example, “Please pick up you toys on the living room floor.” Do not form this into a question such as ”Can you please pick up your toys?” Asking a question makes your request seem optional.

2.   Give a Warning, using an “If …..Then” statement. Example: “If you do not pick up your toys, then you will lose your iPod.” At this time it is also important to specify a reasonable amount of time that the consequence will last.

3. Follow through with the warning if directions are not followed. Consistency is key. If you find yourself giving in or giving too many chances, your child will learn to not take your warnings seriously and will learn how to get his or her way.

4.    Do not add on more consequences. If your child is not following directions, it may be tempting to add on more consequences to your initial warning. Rather than adding on, time should be restarted with each incident.

5.    The privilege must be returned in accordance with your warning. If you warned that no iPod privileges for the rest of the day unless your child picked up his or her toys from the floor, you should return those privileges the next day. This is why thinking through consequences before giving them is so important.

Important things to remember when using loss of privileges as a consequence

  1. A privilege is something that your child likes or enjoys. A right is something that your child needs like food, shelter, love…..These things should never be taken away.

  2. The consequence needs to match the offense. For example, if your child doesn’t get his or her toys picked up in a timely manner, taking away a privilege for a few hours or the rest of the day may be an appropriate response. Taking it away for a month would not.

  3. If your child stops the behavior or complies with your command, make sure you praise them for doing the right thing…Positive raise will go a long way.

  4. If your child becomes agitated, try to redirect them and try to recognize their feelings--” I see that you look upset. What if we both took 5 deep breaths or count to 10 together?” It is best to wait until your child is able to calm down before discussing the incident and reminding them of your directive.

  5. Try to stay calm yourself.  This will help the situation from escalating. Your relationship with your child is more important than any task.

  6. Tell your child you love them and remind them that just because they made a bad choice does not make them a bad kid.

We at Aspire Counseling, LLC are dedicated to serving children, parents, and families in and near Hutchinson. If you want to talk more about how we can help, please contact us today.