by Dr Ray Swann

Helping Kids Understand Consequences

Parents and schools have a shared goal of helping our kids to understand the link between their actions and consequences.

It is a key tenet of socialisation. That if we do certain things, then there is likely to be a response from the other person or community.

Our boys need to form healthy relationships with ‘the rules of the game’ and take responsibility for their actions and the outcomes that ensue. It’s up to us to help them do it.

Setting boundaries

In the early years, these lessons are fairly straightforward – our children are more compliant, they will accept direction and we can provide these lessons relatively easily. The feedback is quite direct.

As adolescence hits, and many young people start to look elsewhere for guidance and information, it gets a lot harder. Whilst not insurmountable, as parents, we need to upgrade how we work in providing boundaries. Adolescents look to other guides and make comparisons, and everything can seem more grey.

What can we do?

It can be hard to provide the clear and secure boundary that a child often needs. Often firmness can be seen as the antithesis of being relational.

Schools can help to provide limitations but only with the backing of parents. This can be through supporting learning programs, reinforcing homework and presentation requirements, or not booking appointments (where possible) during class time.

By working together we can offer the needed guidance and direction for our kids to flourish.


Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

Dr Ray Swann is Deputy Headmaster and Head of the Crowther Centre at Brighton Grammar School. He is a father of two teenage children. He also hosts the Understanding Boys podcast series. This article is about


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