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Do we increase the consequence...

Hi Mark,

I have a question on consequences. Scenerio:

Older daughter (S__) with drivers permit is going to drive our family home from dinner. Younger child (B___ - 13) runs and jumps into the front seat refusing to allow her sister to drive home. If we handled it correctly here's our question.

First we would say, please get into the back seat (to B___). If she then does not and keeps yelling or refusing then we say, "If you don't get into the backseat then you will be choosing a consequence of not using your computer for one day." Then still refusing we say, "Your consequence does not begin until you sit quietly in the backseat."

Still refusing.....This is our question. Here we have said that her consequence doesn't begin until she gets in the backseat, but she hasn't budged. So, do we increase the consequence (length or taking away more things, i.e. changing the consequence) or do we continue to sit in the parking lot while she is screaming and wait?

Thank You,

Dr. M. & M.C.


First, please review the section of the eBook entitled “When You Want Something From Your Kid” [online version of the eBook].

Second, don’t say “please.” “I need you to _____” would be better. “Please” denotes that you may be up for compromise, which you’re not.

Third, rather than saying, “If you don’t _____” -- say, “If you choose not to ____”. This implies that your daughter is doing the choosing – not you.

Re: So, do we increase the consequence (length or taking away more things, i.e. changing the consequence) or do we continue to sit in the parking lot while she is screaming and wait?

No and no. Could you have had her sit in the back seat? Then whenever she stops screaming (as the family makes their way home), the one-day grounding with no computer privileges begins.

My Out-of-Control Teen


Thanks for your answer. But, what did you mean by could we have had her sit in the back seat? That was our problem. We needed her to go into
the back seat and she wasn't moving.


M & M


Would it have been possible to physically move her? If she was going to physically restrain your other daughter from driving, then the police would have been a big help to PUT her in the back seat.


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