General Non-Fiction posted July 12, 2019


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natural concequences teach a lesson

Consequences, Naturally

by Patty Palmer


We had a foster child, age 10, who lived with us for a while. Poor kid, it seemed he invited trouble to accompany him wherever he went. He kept the teachers at school on their toes! Some days he could get me boiling before he even got out of bed! Like the morning I was getting ready to go to work. After curling my hair, I sprayed it with hair spray to keep it in place. It was wet, drooping, and cold! The little twerp had dumped out a new bottle of hair spray, then filled the bottle up with water. I could hear him in his bedroom howling. I walked past him in the hallway without so much as a word.

Getting me going was what he loved best. It was always something and most often not funny. One morning he came downstairs dressed for school. He sat down to eat his breakfast and I noticed that his clothes were on backwards! I kid you not! Pants backwards, belt buckle backwards and buckled tight. His shirt was on backwards and buttoned all the way up to the collar. Instead of his school shoes, he had on a pair of furry winter boots. I knew he was waiting for me to get upset and lose it. I could see him trying to hold back a smirk and looking like the cat that ate the canary!

I turned toward the door and asked him if he had his backpack ready. Picking up my car keys, I was out the door. "Wait! I gotta go change my clothes!" I told him no, he was dressed just fine and that I thought the boots looked nice with his outfit, and we were leaving NOW! He walked out the door looking so unhappy. But it had been his idea to dress that way to get me angry so the most natural consequence I could think of was for him to go to school as he was.

After dropping him off at school, I called his teacher to alert her about what happened. The whole day the teachers acted like everything was normal and he wore his clothes the whole day as he was. That was one lesson he learned that day. Do not push mom because it might just backfire on you!



Consequences writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a STORY (no poems) of no more than 400 words describing an action or conversation and the CONSEQUENCES that followed. MUST INCLUDE the word LESSON within a sentence anywhere in the story.


Many foster children have had a rough life. Some have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, and even worse. They end up in foster care when they can no longer live with their parents. When Children and Youth Services get involved and the child needs a safe place to live is when we are needed. As foster parents, we are trained to handle different behaviors and what to do in different situations. The one in my story here actually did happen. I love natural consequences because they bring it on themselves and they often learn a good lesson from them. If your foster child is old enough to go to friend's house to hang out and you tell them to be home at supper time and he/she is late every single time. The natural consequence is that he doesn't go to that person's house anymore or since supper is over he can eat peanut butter and jelly for supper instead of the tasty grilled steaks that we had. But they are pretty much like any other kid so that's how we treated our foster children. I do try to remember some of their behavior comes from not being with their parents and siblings. Think how our own children would react if they were taken away from us to live in someone else's house that they have never seen before. Different house, different family, and different rules. Even if a child has been abused they still love that parent! They still want to be with them. after a while the foster child is starting to find his place in the family. They start to think of you as family. Then the day they've waited for they are ready to move back home. They want to go home, but home is also here now. The caseworker comes to get them and you hug and kiss goodbye and maybe shed a few tears. That child will never forget you. I guarantee that you won't forget that child either. In our case, some of our foster kids come back to visit once in while. That's always a treat.
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© Copyright 2019. Patty Palmer All rights reserved.
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