[Book Review] Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control

When emotions escalate while discplining children, an adoptive mom finds a breathing technique can really help. Read this, and other wisdom she learned from Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control.

Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control

Beyond Consequences Institute, LLC; 2008

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Being consistent with consequences came naturally to me when I became a parent—it seemed to be the logical, appropriate way to discipline children. So I was resistant as soon as I heard the title of this book, Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control. Meanwhile, my six-year-old was behaving more and more like an aggressive teenager, and her eight-year-old brother was showing signs of wear from the years of chaos.

I finally opened the book. And despite its poor page layout—it could have used wider margins—I kept reading. At first, I just wanted to see what co-author B. Bryan Post had to say. He’s an adoptee, who, as a child, displayed many of the extreme behaviors discussed in Beyond Consequences. As I kept reading, I found that he and co-author Heather Forbes made a lot of sense. I liked their approach—not being permissive, but acting more like a shock-absorbing cushion.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been told not to take my child’s behavior personally, but this book helped me finally heed that advice. Instead of reacting to my kids’ extreme behavior by imposing increasingly stiff consequences, I now try to keep myself as composed as I can. Here’s a technique Dr. Post teaches at the book’s companion seminars [admission is free with the purchase of the book] for remaining calm amid a storm: Breathe in for four seconds, hold the breath for seven, then breathe out for eight seconds. Repeat as necessary. You’ll be amazed at what happens! This breathing exercise alone can defuse most tense situations. At the least, it always reduces the escalation of anger.

My husband and I haven’t seen overnight changes since we’ve been trying these techniques, but our family has grown steadily calmer and closer. Those are consequences we can all live with.

Reviewed by Kaitha Tice, a mother of two biological siblings adopted from foster care in 2001.

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