creative consequences

Consequence Calculator: Child Behavior Training Tool

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

But HOW?

Every mom has heard the proverb “train up a child.”  We know what we are supposed to do but how to do it can be confusing.  The uncertainty moms feel about training children with consequences has become a big topic of conversation on 21 Creative Consequences.  It just isn’t always clear what to do when a child doesn’t behave.  The iMOM team of moms is in the same boat as every other mom–we aren’t confident in our ability to correct behavior.

So we created a tool to help every mom–a Consequence Calculator printable!

Now our big question is does it help you?

Watch, learn, print, and use.

Then let us know:

Do your feel more confident about your consequence choice? Was the conversation about consequences with your child more objective and meaningful?  Is your child learning to change behavior?

 Why Moms Need to Have Consequences for Correcting Behavior


 How to use the Consequence Calculator Printable to Correct Behavior

Download the printable here:


creative consequences




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  • MamaH

    Perfectly delivered with grace and love! Amazing mamas are working hard at iMom:) Thank you.

  • Jennifer Lamb

    I’m a bit confused. You mentioned in the video that most of the time Illegal Misbehavior is done by teenagers, well the first thing that came to my mind was unbuckling their seatbelt in a moving car. That’s more of a younger kid thing. It could get a score of 2, 3, and 5 respectively. Here’s where i get stuck in this method. It scores all over the place but in my judgement any “5” warrants more than a talking to even on a first offense. This is also confusing with an incident like repeatedly forgetting to flush the toilet; it gets a 5, 1, 1. Do you take the average score? If so, and maybe I’m overthinking this, but wouldn’t a total score in Calculate Seriousness be more clear? Like 3-6 is a Minor Consequence, 7-10 Creative Consequence, 11-15 Major Consequence.

    • Hi Jennifer, If there are any 4’s or 5’s it would jump you to a major consequence. So in your example of the unbuckling a seat belt it would score a five for risk because it is illegal. Personally if it were the first time I would warn of a major consequence but on the second time because of the risk you could give a major consequence. However, keep in mind a major consequence to a 6 year old vs. a 16 year old is different. If a 16 year old were not wearing a seat belt a major consequence would be the loss of driving privileges for an extended time. Whereas a six year old major consequence might be the loss of any extracurricular or fun activity that required driving like to a party or sport or the playground for an extended time. The reason we don’t suggest a total score is that we think a 4 or 5 in anything is a major red flag that there is a problem. For example if a child is late for school. The child does it 5 times (frequency -5) but it is always due to carelessness–lost shoes, forgot lunch, etc (mindset-1), and there is no chance of harm to anyone (risk-1). So the score is 5-1-1. Because there is a 5 in the mix this has reached a more serious level. The child is being consistently careless and that is not considerate to the rest of the kids and could result in the other kids getting tardies. A creative consequence might be to wake the child 2 hours early one day and make the child wait in the car until the others are ready for school. A major consequence might be that they do all of the other children’s chores for every day that they made the family late.

      • Kim

        Susan, I appreciate your video b/c when I previously looked at the chart I didn’t get it. It is totally clear now. My struggle has always been coming up with creative consequences that are applicable. I seem to resort to major consequences as a result that don’t even pertain to the offense. The ones that you have given here are practical and right on target. After 11 years of parenting you may think that it would be easier but it isn’t. Do you have any tips or resources for this? Thank you and Mark for your investment in our family! May God continue to bless you!

        • It is always hard to find creative consequences! Lisa Welchel has a book about it called Creative Correction and some are hilarious.

  • Joy

    Thanks for these creative solutions. We need more parents showing that there are consequences for ones behavior. Do you have a solution for a bossy sibling?

  • Kristen

    Hi Susan! So glad to have found your site. My questions is this: I have a 10 year old daughter with ADHD inattentive, anxiety and mild Tourette’s that is most often brought on by the other 2. I am very consistent with action and either reward or consequence. But I am noticing that as you stated, sometimes the consequence doesn’t seem to be enough because she repeats the action, even knowing there will be a consequence. It is difficult for me at times to differentiate between disorder and defiance. Could you help me with this? Thank you so much!

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  • Jennifer Pabst

    WOW! I am completely appreciative of this article and to everyone that came together to brainstorm and put this together. I have six kids that we homeschool and I often find myself analyzing my consequences way too much.
    This brings me to the question. I am struggling because I would literally have to write down and date the misbehavior for each child. Especially my 16 year old who would rival most attorneys. I have a nickname for him; Loophole Boy. If I have left anything open and not specifically defined or explained, he exploits it. Oh yes, the question…I am conflicted about keeping a record of wrong doing. When a misbehavior has been apologized for, I feel obligated to act in likeness to our loving God who forgives in a measure as far as the East is from the West. Please help if you have any suggestions, comments or similar experiences. By the way, there are so many things that happen within a day that I have a hard time keeping straight who did what for future reference, this would be my only reason for needing to keep a written account of good/bad behavior.

    • Jennifer, I can so understand where you are! I had 5 teenagers at one time so it can get crazy. What if you didn’t keep the record but they did? What if they have a notebook and you keep the sheets in the notebook. Then you can ask them how many times this has happened. Of course, you are asking them to be honest!

  • Jennifer Pabst

    Susan- thank you for such a quick response. Fortunately, I do not nave issues with truthfulness at this point. I think the individual notebooks are a great idea. I will let you know how that works out! I hope you and your team truly know how appreciative I am. Thank you for sharing your time, insight and hard work!

    • Could be a good solution for lots of people. Let me know if it works or you find another way! We are always looking for ideas.