As a parent or grandparent responsible for the rearing of children it may make sense to discipline with natural consequences in mind. If you tend to be overprotective of a child too often the result may be that the child is not learning how to determine outcomes for himself as well as he could be if he were allowed to experience the natural consequences of his actions.
What are natural consequences? The answer is simple. Something that would naturally occur if a caregiver did not interfere would be a natural consequence. For example, if a child did not eat his dinner he would get hungry before the next meal. If a child did not clean up his room he would have to live in a messy room all day. If a child did not put hang gloves up after coming in from the snow he would have cold, wet gloves to put on when he goes back outside.
Many parents act too quickly to eliminate these natural consequences from happening with a child. They feel that preventing these events is too important for them to allow the alternative. In fact, this may not be the case. Some children will learn much more effectively if they can experience these consequences, and live with the results, for themselves. If you are finding it hard to get a child to do something that you want them to do that would have a negative, but not harmful, natural consequence, consider allowing it to run its course. You may just find the answer to your problem.
When allowing children to experience natural consequences it is imperative that you don’t let them fall into a dangerous situation. In other word, this is not to be taken to the extreme. For example, a natural consequence of running into the street after a ball would be to get hit by a car. That is certainly not a way to teach a child to stop chasing balls into to the street. Another method must be used in this case. But for many things that would be perfectly harmless, permitting the natural consequence to occur may be the most effective teaching tool that you have.
When you are having trouble making your discipline method work with a child, consider using discipline with natural consequences in mind and see if it helps you.