Life Hacks to Survive and Thrive on a Mommy Sick Day

12 Life Hacks to Survive (And THRIVE) On a Mommy Sick Day

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Mom sick days are just unfair. Like the universe was playing a gross trick or a prank gone too far.


Let me just start by telling you my own little horror story of mom sickness. 

It was almost spring- you know, in that terrible transition phase around March and April where germs thrive.

I took my cute little daughter to the play place at McDonald’s for some much needed exercise and free play. We were just so sick of being cooped up in the house.

Little did I know, we were about to be a whole ‘nother kind of sick.

It all started with my cute telling me, “Mom, sick!”

I couldn’t tell if she was really feeling under the weather or not. She wasn’t really showing any signs of sickness yet. And on top of that, I was pregnant and often nauseous, so she was hearing a lot about how mommy didn’t feel well. At first, I thought she was just repeating after me.

And then it all happened.

First, we got the flu. ALL of us. Starting with the toddler (who barfed in my hair while I was snuggling her in the night… you know, since the poor girl couldn’t sleep because she was so miserable!) and then I got sick too (oh, did I mention I was pregnant on top of all this????) and last of all dad came down with it too.

And that sucked.

But then, it got worse. 

Second, our throats started to feel tingly and itchy. Then they got inflamed and so so sore! Yep, next we all got strep throat. That lasted for a good 4 days at least…

Just when we thought we MUST be finally coming out of it, our sinuses stuffed up, headaches started, and the colds took over! 

All in all, it was like 2 weeks straight of an entire family being sick as a dog!!

That means no dishes done in 2 weeks, no sweeping the floor in 2 weeks, no cooking meals in 2 weeks, no laundry done in 2 weeks, no errands run in 2 weeks, no grocery shopping done…. 

What is a mom supposed to do to SURVIVE???

person lying on gray sofa

Life Hack 1: Explain What’s Going On to Your Kids

I’m always amazed at how much my kids actually do understand if I just take the time to talk to them about what’s going on. 

Even my little 2 year old!

When we were so sick, I told her that mommy felt icky just like she did. She was very understanding when I was slower to get her a snack or when I spent a lot more time lounging on the couch than normal.

Don’t forget to clue your kids in. Sometimes we accidentally leave our kids in the dark (which leads to more behavior problems because they are just confused), but if they just know what’s going on they can be very loving, supportive, and helpful in our time of need!

Want to hear the cutest story about the cutest kid in the world?? Check out this story from our post Scary Mom-Nightmares Series- Category: Over 60 Insanely Awesome Child Quotes.

“I was folding laundry one day and told him that I was feeling really tired. He let out an “awwww!”, gave me a big hug, and said firmly, “I take you yours bed.”

I protested- telling him that I still had to fold the clothes. He would not be swayed- “I do it myself.”

Then he took me by my hand and guided me to my room. I laid down in bed and he covered me with a blanket. Later he brought in a cookie sheet with a couple chocolate chips on it. “I bring you yours lunch.”

I asked if he could help his little sister, who was fussing. He put her in her bed with a sippy cup and calmed her right down.

That cutie melts my heart! He was only 5 years old.”

adult white American bulldog sitting on couch

Life Hack 2: Have Fun On the Couch

Moms, it’s time to get creative!

You’re out of commission on the couch, and yet your little ones need some kind of entertainment if you expect to get any rest and relaxation at all.

There’s a ton of great fun activities and games for your kiddos…. that don’t involve you leaving the couch!! 

  • Coloring
  • Blocks
  • Books
  • The “I’m the Audience” Game
    • Puppet shows,
    • Talent show,
    • Singing shows
    • Basically, anything that lets my kids perform and me be the audience so I can kick back and relax!

HABA Doorway Puppet Theater – Space Saver with Adjustable Rod Fits in Most Doorways

Clearance Sale!JPJ(TM)🍁12Pcs Hot Creative Chinese Zodiac Soft Animal Puppet Finger Toys PLush Toys

6 Plush Velour Animal Hand Puppets

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Bath Finger Puppets

  • Farm
    • My daughter LOVES to set up elaborate farms or zoos with her toy animals. All I have to do is sit back and tell her how nice it all looks!
  • Play Dough
    • On special days, my daughter gets to play with play dough at the coffee table. I’m close enough to supervise and keep the mess down to a minimum, but I also get to rest!
  • Write a Story Together
  • Tell Stories
  • Look at Family Pictures
  • Dream about Visiting Disney Land
    • Research what princesses you could meet, what restaurants you could eat at, what rides you could ride, and more!
  • Plan out a Dream Family Vacation
    • Find out more about your kids’ interests by learning what kind of places they would enjoy visiting and what their favorite activities would be there!
  • Puzzles!
  • Try some Origami!
  • Shape Threading
  • Make Jewelry
  • Do String Art!
    • All you have to do is poke some tacks into a pin board and let your little one loop string in, over, and around the tacks to make their own piece of art!
  • Give them a Box
    • Aren’t you amazed at how kids can make something ordinary become amazing? Give your kid a box and let them turn it into a doll house, a race track, a farm, or whatever else they dream up! Give them crayons to decorate it and let the creativity begin!
  • Need more ideas? Check out Over 60 Indoor Activities for Families on a Rainy Day

boy sitting on white cloth surrounded by toys

Life Hack 3: Secret Stash of Toys

You know how kids get tired of the same old toys? That is particularly problematic when you REALLY need them to play happily on their own while you nap during a mommy sick day.

The solution? Keep a few secret, special toys that are only allowed to be played with on sick days! This keeps ’em special and exciting!! 

Here are a few ideas:

My Felt Story – Felt Board, Flannel Board, Black, 23″ x 12.5″

Melissa & Doug Suspend Family Game, Classic Games, Exciting Balancing Game, Develops Hand-Eye Coordination, 12.5″ H x 2.8″ W x 2.8″ L

6 Neon Stretchy Strings for ADD / ADHD Stretch Toy Stress Reliever Fidget Toy Sensory Toys – Stretches from 13 inches to 10 Feet Long!

Squirrel Products Mom, I’m Bored Children’s Activity Book – Fun for Kids Ages 3 Years Old and Up

PlayMonster Lacing & Tracing – Dinosaurs

Soyee Button Art | Preschool Learning Toys | Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard Set for 3+ Year Old Boys & Girls | Brain Training Games for kids

BUCKLE TOY “Buddy” Backpack – Toddler Early Learning Basic Life Skills Children’s Plush Travel Activity

Haktoys Fishing Game Toy Set with Single-Layer Rotating Board | Now with Music On/Off Switch for Quiet Play | Includes 21 Fish and 4 Fishing Poles | Safe and Durable Gift for Toddlers and Kids

HABA Town Maze Magnetic Game for Ages 2+

Beiens 9 Theme Felt Quiet Books – Ultra Soft Baby books Touch and feel Cloth Book, 3D Books Fabric Activity for Babies /Toddlers, Learning to Sensory Book、Identify Skill Boys and Girls, Busy Book

Wooden Magnetic Jigsaw Puzzles Toy, DIWENHOUSE Toddler Toys Educational Travel Puzzle Games Double Sided Drawing Easel for Boys and Girls (Happy Farm)

Magnetic Fun – Cars Planes and Trains

soup in bowl

Life Hack 4: Freezer Meals…. or Order Pizza

Ok mom, when you’re sick, the LAST thing you need is to COOK!

Cooking sucks even when you’re healthy. You don’t need that aggravation.

Plan ahead by having some freezer meals ready to go! 

On top of that, I keep a few cans of my favorite Campbell’s soups in my cupboard just in case I need a grilled cheese and tomato soup at a moment’s notice.

And if that fails, it’s time to order pizza!

white ceramic mug on white table beside black eyeglasses

Life Hack 5: The Sick Day Kit

Make a “sick day kit” with everything you need for a mom sick day.

This keeps everything in one place so that you’re not searching for things you need while you’re puking your guts out. Better yet- it keeps you from having to run to the store while you’re puking your guts out!! 

Here’s a few items to include:

  • Tissues,
  • Tea,
  • Common medications,
  • Blanket,
  • A water bottle,
  • Snacks for you and the kids (you know you’ll have to share!),
  • Vitamin C,
  • Cough drops,
  • Fun games or toys for the kids (unless you’ve got a secret stash somewhere),
  • A thermometer to check for a fever,

No Touch Forehead Temporal Thermometer for Fever KIT | Termometro Digital Baby |- The Best Medical Thermometers for Infants, Kids, Adults with New Born Infant Baby Essentials Nasal Aspirator.

Essential Oil Aromatherapy Set – Pure Therapeutic Grade Oils Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Orange, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Anxiety Relief Blend Kit for Women & Men

  • Strep Test Kit,

Dealmed Rapid Diagnostic Strep A Test Kits CLIA Waived (25 Tests per Box)

  • Barf bags,

Disposable Barf Bags and Wipes Kit With 10 Puke Bags and 10 Wipes – For Car Sick Kids, Uber / LYFT Customers and Morning Sickness Sufferers

  • Anything else that makes you feel better when you’re under the weather!

It can be easier to begin your kit using an existing Get Well Kit, like one of these, and add more of your favorite supplies until it’s perfect!

GiftTree Get Well Medicine Cabinet | Recovery Care Package For Men, Women and Kids | Gift Set Includes Cabinet, Assorted Candy, Ice Bag, Mini First Aid Kit

Get Well Soon Care Package Gift (Available in Two Sizes) … (Standard)

Get Well Gift Box Basket II – For Cold/Flu/Illness – Over 2.5 Pounds of Care, Concern, and Love – Great Care Package – Send a Smile Today!

women's gray crew neck shirt

Life Hack 6: 10 Minutes Goes a Long Way

All this is great… but inevitably, whenever you’re sick, your kids will start to feel starved of your attention.

This is my #1 struggle as a sick mom. Well, at least it WAS until I learned this awesome trick! 

It not only CURES your kids from feeling starved of your attention, it also PREVENTS them from feeling starved.

It’s called the 10 Minute Rule. Here’s how it works:

  • Every time you catch yourself feeling slightly better, take 10 minutes one-on-one with a child or play with the whole group


  • Right before every nap you take, take 10 minutes one-on-one with a child or play with all your kids. 

That’s it!

No matter how sick I am, I can handle 10 minutes of time with my kids. What I can’t handle is hours of a clingy, attention-starved child climbing all over me while I try to nap.

The idea here is that by taking time out of your sick day for your kids, they feel your love and attention. Then, you can explain to them that you’re still not feeling well and need some rest.

Since they have their “mommy attention needs” met, they’re more likely to leave you alone to rest for an hour. Ok, maybe just 30 minutes for some kids, but still!

man and woman holding hands on street

Life Hack 7: Learn to Accept Help

This isn’t easy, but it is a life changing skill!

If you can learn to ask for and accept help when you need it, you’ll find that life’s burdens aren’t so bad, that there are good people all around you who are happy to help out, and that you have much more support than you ever knew. 

Next time you’re sick,

  • Ask for someone to pick up your groceries for you via Walmart pickup. You can still pay for them, all they have to do is swing by and bring them to you!
  • Ask for help with the kids. Healthy kids can go on play dates or someone can watch them while you nap. Family members, friends, and your partner are often willing to help, they just might not know what you need.
  • Ask your partner to take over some of your usual chores, like cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc.
  • Arrange carpools for your kids so that you don’t have to drive them to school or to their various clubs, sports, and activities.
  • Tell others what your needs are. You’ll be amazed at the solutions they think of! You never know what another person’s resources and skills are. They have a lot more to give than you might know! 

man wiping mouse with tissue paper

Life Hack 8: PREVENT Sickness with this Magic Vitamin

Elder Berry is a wonderful, magical vitamin.

I first head of it from my sister-in-law.

Her husband was going through a major career change- starting with an intensive flight school to learn how to be a pilot.

It was important to his family that he do well in school and finish school as quickly as possible because they had no income until he finished school and started working as a pilot. 

For him, sick days just weren’t an option!

Sound familiar?

So how did he keep healthy through this vital time for his family?

Elder Berry!

He took this vitamin every day to prevent sickness, and successfully navigated a flu ridden fall and spring without getting sick once! (In fact, it was the same spring that my family got our terrible flu, strep, and cold 2 week illness!)


His wife took it as soon as she started feeling something coming on, and reported that she was almost instantly cured of any illness that might be coming on.

They also gave the vitamins to their kids if they came down with something and reported that colds, coughs, and the flu seemed to end much quicker for their family than other families in the neighborhood.

Want to try it out? Here’s a link for your convenience!

Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Gummies, Herbal Supplements with Vitamin C and Zinc, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, 60 Gummies (Packaging May Vary)

person holding remote pointing at TV

Life Hack 9: Let the Schedule Go

It’s ok if the schedule/routine/typical rules get a little more flexible when you’re sick. 

No need to stress about if the kids go to bed right on time…. or maybe a little earlier than normal if you’re like me.

No need to stress if you watch an extra hour of TV on a sick day. Or an extra few hours of TV on a sick day.

No mom guilt! Give yourself a break! 

Life Hack 10: Self-Care the Crap Out Of Yourself!

Yes, sickness is a time to take care of yourself. So do whatever it takes to feel better!

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to let your needs go unmet. To the contrary- you are a vital piece to keep your family functioning. Without you, all hell breaks loose! That’s even MORE reason to take care of yourself! 

Do you need a long bath? Make it happen mama!

Do you need a nap? You can have one!

Do you need some time with Netflix? Do it!

Do you need a Popsicle, a bowl of soup, a piece of toast, a glass of orange juice? Get it!

Is self-care tricky for you? Try this great resource!

Free Self Care Guide 2

Life Hack 11: Stay Home. Period.

Mom, I know you’re in charge of a lot of things. You shop for the groceries, you run the errands, you get your kids everywhere they need to go.

It’s time to put your foot down. You need to stay home.

If you go out, you’re just spreading your sickness around to other families and, heaven forbid, other moms! 

I know, we all know we should stay inside, but sometimes necessity drives us out the door.

If you find yourself feeling obligated to leave the house, it’s time to ask for help!

This is healing time. Not errands time. 

Life Hack 12: See the Silver Lining

Yes, sickness sucks. Especially for a mom.

But on the other hand, you have a good excuse to sit still and take a break! 

You get to sleep! And lay around! And relax!

That’s something! Take that in and enjoy! After all, you don’t get to lazy around most days.

You don’t have to fight and struggle your way through a mommy sick day. You can crush it! You’ve got this- these 12 life hacks make a mom sick day totally do-able. 

These 12 tips saved me during my 2+ weeks of sickness- including the flu, strep throat, and a cold one right after the other.

They can save you too!


Mrs. S



Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

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When Life is on a Parent's Side- Taking Advantage of Natural Consequences

When Life Is On A Parent’s Side- Taking Advantage of Natural Consequences

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Photo by Will Truettner on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not!

Updated 2/13/2019


Please comment below- When have you used natural consequences to teach your kids?


Life is tough and unforgiving… But every once and a while, the stars align and Karma comes through for you!

Every once and a while, life does the parenting for me!

Parent Guide to Misbehavior Subscribe Picture

Receive your FREE Parent’s Guide to Children’s Misbehavior by clicking here!!!

What are Natural Consequences?

Natural consequences are life’s way of teaching.

Basically, every time we act, there are good and bad ripple effects- consequences of our actions.

  • If there are more good than bad ripples, we consider that behavior to be a good thing.
  • If there are more bad ripples than good, that behavior is a negative one and we stop behaving that way.
  • For example, if I fart in public, most people wouldn’t comment on it because that would be rude. But people move away from me and don’t want to be around me because that’s gross! That’s a natural consequence of my actions. Nobody has to tell those people to punish me by moving away. And nobody’s even trying to punish me- it’s just the natural thing to do! Get away from the smelly girl.

There’s no teacher to plan out and enforce the rules, they just happen. We learn from the good and bad effects of our actions without someone to control the outcome.

Parents have a goal in mind to help their children become the best people they can be- people who will choose to send good waves into the world through their actions.

That’s why we correct our children when they act out. That’s why we try to teach them skills that they will need- like:

boy and girl answering questions on white paper

In order to encourage our children to act the in an appropriate and responsible way (so that they can become what we want them to become), we often set up our own rules, along with consequences for breaking those rules.

The awesome thing is that we don’t always have to! Sometimes life does it for us!

One Parent Who Had Life (And a Wise Dentist) on Her Side

A while back, I had a client with special needs who struggled to brush his teeth. He didn’t like doing it, he hated that his mom was always asking him to do it.

In desperation, this good mom tried many different techniques to encourage him to brush his teeth every day.

  • She tried sticker charts,
  • she tried various apps designed to help kids with self-help skills,
  • she tried hand-over-hand,
  • she tried being silly and making it fun,
  • she tried immediate rewards after each time he brushed…

She tried everything she could think of.

Most of the time, when she implemented a new strategy the child would comply for a day or two and then relapse. He was just as frustrated with the situation as his mom was.

And then one day, I came to visit the family. I checked up with his mom to see how he had been doing with brushing his teeth.

All she said was, “Watch this.” She sent him to the bathroom, asked him to brush, and stood back while he cleaned his teeth completely independently. No help, no bribing, no encouragement, no plan. He just did it.

I couldn’t believe it!

When I asked what changed, she explained that he had a dental appointment a week prior to my visit. It had been at least a few days since he had brushed when he saw the dentist. His mom spoke to the dentist privately about the problems they were having.

So this wise dentist had a one-on-one chat with the child. He didn’t try any grand plan or implement rewards or consequences. All he did was explain to the child what would naturally happen to his teeth if he did not brush.

Now, this good mom had briefly explained it to the child- usually saying something like, “Your teeth won’t be healthy” or “Your teeth are dirty.”

But the dentist did much more- He showed the child pictures of the stages of tooth decay. He showed the client how teeth turn yellow, then brown, then black, then fall out. He explained in simple, clear words that it can hurt and can mean extra dental visits and procedures.

He didn’t try to exaggerate facts or scare the child into submission (if anything he was very careful to keep it G rated). He simply stated some of the bad things that would happen if this habit continued.

And that’s all it took.

That’s the power of natural consequences.

Now, every parent knows that there is no single strategy that will fix all your problems.

But give it a try! What if it’s exactly what you needed?

How to Use Natural Consequences

Here’s how to do it.

A bottle of DOSE Juice is poured against a pink backdrop

  • Step 1: Identify what the problem behavior is.

A while ago, my daughter started dumping out her juice onto the table every time we sat down to eat. She would wait until we weren’t looking because she assumed (correctly) that she would get in trouble for purposely spilling her juice.

At first, I thought she was spilling on accident, so I asked her to help me clean it up and we moved on. No punishment of any kind. I thought it was an accident, after all.

After a while, I started to catch on to the pattern, so I watched a little closer.

Sure enough, she was pouring out her cup and watching the liquid spill out and run across the table. At first I was frustrated, but after trying to see things from her perspective, I realized that it probably did look pretty cool- like a waterfall or a stream. I love watching waterfalls.

I didn’t want to yell or put her down, but I did want her to learn that you can’t just pour out your juice!

  • Step 2: Think of natural consequences to the problem behavior.

I tried to brainstorm all the possible consequences that I could implement.

  • I considered not filling up her glass again after she spilt it… After all, if the drink is all gone, then it’s all gone! But I am very careful not to use natural consequences in a way that could at all endanger my child. In this case, I didn’t want her to get dehydrated or maybe choke on her food if she didn’t have a drink to wash it down with.
  • I also considered asking her to drink out of a sippy cup instead of a real glass. I know she would have hated that because sippy cups are for babies. I didn’t end up going with this solution for two reasons: 1- I didn’t want to shame my daughter or make her feel bad about herself and 2- this technically isn’t a natural consequence- it’s a consequence of my own invention. When you spill your juice, the universe doesn’t naturally replace your cup with a sippy.

After a lot of thinking, I had an idea.

  • Step 3: Decide on a safe consequence to implement. Allow the child to make the mistake in order to feel the natural consequence.

The next time she poured out her juice, I helped her clean it up but this time I refilled her glass with water instead of juice.

  • Step 4: Explain the consequence to the child so that they understand why it is happening.

When she asked for more juice, I told her that she already had her share of juice. I explained that if I gave her more juice, there wouldn’t be enough for the rest of the family to have some.

Then I calmly suggested that next time, it might be best if she decided to drink her juice instead of pour it on the table.  

And guess what? She never spilled intentionally again! (To the best of my knowledge… hahaha)

red Wrong Way signage on road

Every once and a while, when a child wants to try a behavior that I have discouraged repeatedly (and one that is safe!) I let him go ahead and try it out.

It doesn’t take long until he realizes that mom knew what she was talking about.

I once saw a video of a kid shooting himself in the nuts with a nurf gun. Yeah, that was pretty funny.

I’m sure there was a natural consequence that taught him something that day. Not from his mom. From life and his real experiences. And I bet he learned it better than if mom had just told him about it, too.

shallow focus photography of girl sitting on chair drawing on her paper on top of the table

Positives of Using Natural Consequences

  • It Makes Sense

Natural consequences are so easy for a parent to use because they are logical.

All you have to do is explain to your child the natural progression of events if their behavior continues. Think to yourself, “Why don’t I want my child to act this way?” Then share the cause and effect with your child to make sure that they see the link between their action and the result.

Avoid shaming, which sounds like this, “You are bad because of this behavior,” or “You don’t deserve blah blah blah because of this behavior,” or “This is all your fault.”

State the behavior and the consequence without blame. “When you hit your brother, he didn’t want to play anymore because he didn’t want any more owies.”

  1. For example, I don’t want my child to be mean to other children because then she won’t have friends to play with. People won’t want to be around her if she is mean to them.

2. I don’t want my child to spend all her money because then she won’t have money left when she needs something.

3. I don’t want my child to skip homework assignments because she won’t master the material. If she doesn’t master the material, she will feel confused during later assignments that build on what she is learning now.

  • It’s Honest

Do you ever hear parents trying to exaggerate or scare the child into behaving?

I do understand the temptation to do that. It can be effective and that’s hard to argue with. The problem is eventually that child will find out the truth, and then you’ll have to face the fact that you lied to him.

Natural consequences aren’t lies.

They’re the honest to goodness result of a person’s actions.

-Honest parents never have to worry about if the child has discovered their secrets.

-Honest parents never have to worry about if the child is hearing the truth from friends at school.

-Honest parents never have to worry about accidentally letting something slip.

-Honest parents can relax.

No hiding. No shame.

woman covering her face in front of wall

Natural consequences are a great way to do that, without losing efficacy.

  • You Don’t Have to Be There 

Notice in all my examples above- the parent doesn’t have to contrive these scenarios.

It’s just how life is!

That’s what separates natural consequences from chore charts, and sticker rewards, and even praise- All those things take YOU to implement. That means, if you’re not there, a child might not keep up the behavior that you wanted.

  • It’s Not A Temporary Rule

Natural consequences are universal. They won’t end after the child leaves your side. He can go to school, he can hang out with friends, he can move out and leave for college, he can raise a family of his own- and through all this these principles still apply.

Not like that chore chart. That only applies as long as you are enforcing it.

Parents who use natural consequences are teaching a lifelong skill of understanding how a person’s actions affect yourself and others in the long run.

  • You don’t have to be the bad guy

man and girl sitting on brown dock near boat and two white ducks during daytime

This is the BEST!

You know how when you take away your teenager’s phone she curses your name and says that you are ruining her life?

You know when you tell your middle schooler to do his homework and he claims that his stupid teacher gives more homework than all the other teachers and there’s no good reason why he should have to do it?

You know how you try to get the kids to help clean the house and they treat you like a dictator?

My favorite part of natural consequences is that nobody can blame me!

I didn’t make the rules. That’s just life!

It’s really nice to have some of that parent blame taken away. I didn’t ask for this to happen. I didn’t make it so. I am just a kind person trying to help my child avoid some mistakes! And I finally get the credit as such. 😊

When NOT to Use Natural Consequences

Now that doesn’t mean this is a perfect fit for every situation. Like all parenting strategies, we have to be conscious of when to use natural consequences.

Here are a few situations when I avoid using natural consequences:

  • When a child is too young to understand

selective focus photography of baby holding wooden cube

Natural consequences can be difficult for kids under age 4 to understand.

If you can shorten the logic to one or two sentences, maybe it could still be helpful on a 2-3 year old.

For example, I tell my daughter “You have to sit in the car seat because it keeps you safe.” At 2 years old, I’m not sure if she fully understands what I mean, so I usually pair this with another parenting hack.

For example, “You have to sit in the car seat because it keeps you safe. But the car seat makes you tall enough to see out the window! What animals can you see? I see a cow!”

  • When a child wants to do something unsafe or illegal

Sometimes, a child wants to try out something that isn’t safe, like not wearing a seat belt. Of course, we can verbally explain natural consequences to help him decide to buckle up, but we would never want to let a child actually experiment with unsafe actions just to learn the natural consequences for himself.

Same goes for unsafe sex, dressing inappropriately for weather, playing with knives, trying drugs, etc.

Sometimes the consequences are just not worth trying out. And a child’s safety is always most important! 

white and red first aid case on wall

Give natural consequences a try, and let me know what you think!

Let life be the bad guy for once. Turns out, life is a pretty good teacher anyways!

Please comment below- When have you used natural consequences to teach your kids?


Mrs. S

Please share with any parent who is trying to teach their kids!

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