One mom was fed up with her 2-year-old son Sam continually wanting to play in the dirt of a large indoor plant. Every time Sam started playing in the dirt, his mom slapped his hand and told him "No!"
Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to deter Sam. It wasn’t long before he was back in the dirt and getting his hand slapped once again. Mom really knew the consequence wasn’t working when Sam was playing in the dirt, saw his mother coming and held out his hand to be slapped.
Apparently playing in the dirt was worth a slap on the hand! Mom finally solved the problem by moving the plant to a place Sam couldn’t access. She then took Sam outside and showed him a place where he could dig in the dirt.
How do you know when the consequences you are giving your child for misbehaving are ineffective? You'll see the behavior continue and likely escalate. It's then time to take a step back and figure out a better approach.
When consequences aren’t working
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