Natural and Logical Consequences

Natural consequences are things that happen to children naturally in their environment, as a result of their action.  The adult doesn’t do anything to the child.  Children learn the best from these but we can’t control them (Nelsen, 2017).  

For example, a child goes outside without a jacket and gets cold.  She goes back inside to get her coat.  The child’s feeling cold was a natural result of her choice to go outside without a jacket. She may remember the next morning to bring her jacket because she was cold the day before.  A boy leaves his toys out, steps on a Lego, and hurts his foot. This is a natural consequence to his leaving the toy out and he may be more likely to put his Legos away in the future. 

Logical consequences the adult imposes on the child, but they directly relate to the child’s behavior, so they make logical sense (Positive discipline, 2019).  A child breaks his sister’s toy.  He either has to help fix it or pay for a replacement toy out of his own allowance. You can see how it is more directly related to the misbehavior than the adult just giving a spanking or a time-out. If a child makes a mess he/she has to help clean it up.  At school if a child writes graffiti on a bathroom wall then she/he has to help paint that wall.  Missing recess is usually a punishment that is not connected to what the child did wrong unless they did something aggressive at recess.  Then that makes more sense.  

Logical consequences take a little more time and thought than punishments but are worth it because they make sense to children and the children will feel more respected.  These children will understand why they shouldn’t have done that, which will make them more likely to act differently next time.  


Nelsen, J. (2017). Natural consequences. Retrieved from

Positive discipline (2019). Logical consequences. Retrieved from