Logical consequences...when it doesn't make sense

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I attended an appointment yesterday afternoon with attachment therapist for wm. wm never made it to the appointment because of a breakdown in communications between Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) & therapist.

Having said that, we started discussing logical consequences.

therapist made an interesting statement....if you have to work hard on coming up with a logical consequence there probably isn't one. Taking into account the emotional level of the tweedles, it becomes even more difficult. Our difficult children frequently display illogical behaviors & symptoms.

How do you address a 6 hour meltdown; can you even consider a consequence for out of control behaviors? I thought about that before answering therapist.

Both tweedles have pretty much left the building when they are in the midst of a meltdown/rage. And while there may have been destruction, given their emotional ages, there is no way I would give them the responsibility of fixing it. I may ask them to help fix or clean up the mess. Many many times there is a total disconnect.

I also pointed out that many times there are logical consequences when kt or wm have made very deliberate choices. Refuse homework, lose recess time.

therapist's point was that with our mentally/emotionally disordered children, many times, there is no logical consequence. And that it's okay to hand out a consequence with the comment, because I'm the mom & I said so.

She also recommended that I laminate together pictures of the tweedles. On one side a picture of them at their current physical age, on the other a picture of them as toddlers. Just to remind me that certain behaviors need redirection & can be used to teach them skills they did not learn as very young children.

All in all, it was a very interesting appointment - it gave me food for thought.


New Member
That has been a difficulty here, for sure. When husband melts down or rages, he absolutely is not inside.......neither is oldest difficult child. Hard to consequence someone who is not there.
wHAT I have done is install rules etc based on safety. My kids did not get grounded, they got held home cuz it was unsafe for them to be out and about. Not sure if thats natural or logical consequwences, and it was not meant to be punishment, but, if they are not inside themself, then they sure cannot be doing certain things.


Well-Known Member
Good point.
I can relate.
I've always had that problem. Part of it is a failure of imagination on my part, LOL! But also that I'm so concerned with-being "right," I lose track of the benefits of swift consequences.
One of the things my difficult child will do is claim he didn't have that big of a meltdown, or that he doesn't remember it. I'll say, "Mommy remembers it. You hurt my ears and my feelings, and you didn't act like a Big Boy." (The therapist is into Big Boy, Little Boy behavior.)
And then I'll have him write he's sorry for... whatever, 10X. That usually triggers the memory.
My difficult child isn't incapable of understanding consequences, just much slower at digesting the information in an age-appropriate manner. I have to pretend he's 4 or 5. (I was pretending he was 8 but that didn't help me much!)So the photos that were suggested to you might be as helpful to you as to the kids. :cool:


New Member

I have found on the road with Dylan and easy child (I keep difficult child 2 out of these things, because well, you know why), especially where Dylan is concerned, it is better to not consequence the rages. However, typically with Dylan, the rages came from something else. For example, he didn't want to do his homework. I told him if he didn't do his homework he wouldn't get his 30 minutes on the Playstation. He raged. If he didn't do the homework, he lost the privelages. If he did, well, he got the Playstation.

I have taught him a few better ways to deal with the rage part, but must admit the majority of problems in that department were handled with medication. But I always felt Dylan's rages were completely out of his control, and therefore shouldn't be consequenced. But as I said before, if there was a defiant refusal to do a task that led up to the rage, if that task was not completed, a consequence was always set in place.

Make sense? Probably no help lol. I'm glad you had a good meeting and left feeling like you got somewhere.



New Member
yes, thats what I do.if it is out of their control, - and some of dhs and oldest difficult children are, then, no, I do not consequence it. What good would it do? what point would I be making?


New Member
I think I am running to laminate all our pictures lol !! one of myself too! so when they are upsetting me I will show them the picture of me and how I was not always a mommy and and I too was a little person like them I usally tell them stories about when I was younger like them and they really get the connection that I might have had same fears or concerns as them. it might be helpfull. I recently took pictures of Jescey making all different facial expressions,angry, mad, upset ,sad ,happy ,surprised content and many others to display to all of us and when he is feeling one or the other he can let us know which one by putting it on the fridge then we all know if he is approachable or not or in what type of mood he is in,It has only been 2 weeks and so far has been benifical for all of us.autistic children most of time do not use alot of expression in a verbal way and when you catch them in a mood it is often too late to tippytoe back from what you have just happend upon.


New Member
I think it is not good to punish or consequence what is not in their control. And consequences are in a sense punitive. I don't even think logical consequences necessarily have to be imposed when the child is not developmentally ready to learn the lesson from the consequence. For example (extreme, but to make the point), you wouldn't let a child get run over to teach them a lesson. You would say, they are not ready to cross the street independently and you would take their hand. At some point they are ready to get the consequence. If they don';t do homework at home, then at some point they might have to stay in for recess etc. But when consequences are nothing but punitive and reinforce the sense of failure then they don't teach much.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Finding logical consequences for difficult child is not always easy so sometimes I do what your therapist said, Linda, I just say it's the consequence because I said so. I like the idea of a picture of when difficult child was a toddler which is what the emotional age my difficult child is at as well.