The Value of Consequences:
“People don’t learn from their mistakes,
they learn from the consequences of their mistakes.
Remove the consequences and you will have robbed them
of a potentially valuable life lesson.”
– Chaplain Joe Herzanek, Why Don’t They Just Quit?
The Value of Consequences. It seems that out of our hundreds of blog posts, the most universal truths lie in those that speak about consequences—and the important role they play in every person’s life. These concepts apply to all, from toddlers and teens to the middle-aged and elderly. We decided to gather some of our most popular segments and combine them into one post—to be read quickly, or if you have time, with links to more info/the expanded text. We hope this will be helpful to you and/or to share with a friend.
Raising the Bottom:
Addicts like me, and potentially my son, often need to learn things the hard way. Judy vividly recalls a time when Jake was about three years old. She was ironing and told him not to touch the iron—that it was hot. He looked directly into her eyes, stuck out his finger and touched it. At that moment she knew this was not going to be an easy road. Jake was going to have to learn things the hard way.
“We cannot learn without pain.”
The Value of Pain
Pain can be a wonderful teacher. Pain usually means that something is wrong or perhaps broken. Without pain, most people would have even larger problems. Pain is a signal that we need to do something different if we want it to stop.
We decided to not rob Jake of these pivotal learning opportunities. We weren’t going to lie for him, put up his bail, or pay for lawyers. In one of the seminars we attended, we were advised not to argue with our son; just let the consequences be the “bad guy.”
“Don’t rob your friend or loved one of the wonderful
learning experience they are about to have.”
So does everyone have to hit rock bottom? I would say no. Tough love can prevent a substance abuser from prolonging their usage. There are loving ways to refuse to rescue someone who in the long run will help him or her to choose recovery. Loving means doing the right thing to help. This can take all of our strength and energy at times. “We all hate to see someone suffer even when the suffering is a consequence of their bad choices.
This approach, or some form of it, is something you might consider: Raise the bottom. Whether it is a teenage son or daughter, a spouse, boyfriend, aunt or uncle, the same principles can apply. A few nights in jail could be the best thing that ever happens to them. The next time this person you care about appeals to you to get them out of a bind (loan them money, pay their electric bill, buy them gas, pay for a lawyer), think twice. You just might be prolonging their disease and robbing them of the natural consequences they need to experience in order to seek help and begin to connect the dots.
Don’t bail them out. A few nights in jail
could be the best thing that ever happens to them.
~Chaplain Joe Herzanek
“Raising The Bottom” is excerpted from Chapter 23 (Pivotal Teaching Moments: The “rock bottom” myth) of the 2016 updated edition of Why Don’t They JUST QUIT? Hope for families struggling with addiction.
A Family Disease:
“Once we recognize our futile attempts to stop a disease for which there has yet to be found a cure, we can begin to utilize different strategies in dealing with our addicted children.
We can allow our children to feel the consequences and results of their behavior. In essence, we can “raise their bottom.” We can begin to take care of ourselves by reaching out to mothers who have had similar experiences. As we build friendships and feel supported and loved, it becomes easier to make difficult decisions and we learn new ways to cope with the reality of addiction.“
The above is excerpted from: Why is Addiction Called “A Family Disease?”
~By Kathy Brock Frasier, Regional Director, The Addict’s Mom
When life becomes one crisis after another, when emotional pain and endless drama become “the norm” what am I supposed to do? Over the past few decades I’ve received this question a lot. Recently it has become the #1 question. Why is that? What do I suggest to families who have arrived at this place? How about this: My suggestion is to do NOTHING! Stop “doing.” Quit “doing.” No longer “DO” anything.
Let’s talk about letting go and what that looks like (sometimes referred to as “detachment”). So there—I’ve said it; The “D” word, The Ultimatum, The Nuclear Option.
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE
“Detachment. How Can I?” is excerpted from the 2016 updated edition of Why Don’t They JUST QUIT? Hope for families struggling with addiction.
Although this story centers around a mother and her young child, we find that most of the “Love and Logic” principles apply to ANY age group (children, teens and adults).
Parenting: Warnings and Threats
Little Cleo looked out of the corner of her eye at her Mom with one of those testing looks, then pushed her child sized grocery cart into the legs of her sister.
“Quit that,” warned Mom. “I’ve warned you about that three times already. If you do it again I’m going to take it away!”
Three minutes later Cleo was doing it again.
“Cleo, I said no,” yelled Mom. “Now you stop it! You’re going to be in big trouble! How many times do I have to tell you?”
Ten minutes later, I saw Mom still making threats. I’m not sure she was aware of Cleo’s sly little grin.
During the same trip, I watched another Mom dealing with the same problem. There were no threats.
“Willie, you know better than that. Follow me.” She calmly walked to the front of the store with her son trailing behind.
“Leave your cart with the others here. You can try it again next time we’re in the store.”
“But, Mom. I’ll be good. I promise.”
“I’m sure you will next time we shop.”
A sobbing little Willie followed his mom through the store.
Let’s all give Willie’s mother a big hand. And let’s give Cleo’s mom a moment of silence. The threats and warnings may still be going on while we read this.
Thanks for reading,
– Jim Fay
As one of our favorite authors, we highly recommend Jim Fay and Foster Cline’s book Parenting Teens With Love And Logic
Originally published 1/06/2010 by the Love and Logic® Institute, Inc.©2010 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, PhD & Love and Logic® Institute, Inc. www.loveandlogic.com
Judy Herzanek is the Director of Creative Development and Marketing for Changing Lives Foundation. She graduated from Columbus College of Art & Design in 1976 and worked as Graphic Designer and Art Director for Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, MO (12 years), Celestial Seasonings, Boulder, CO (16 years) and owned and managed her own design business.
Chaplain Joe Herzanek and Judy met in 1984 at an AA meeting in Kansas City and have been married and in long-term recovery for over 30 years. She loves working from her home office in Berthoud, Colorado and the opportunity to combine her design, marketing and online skills with her 30+ years of sobriety to bring the message of hope to families struggling with addiction.
Please visit Changing Lives Foundation website
As the mom of a child struggling with addiction, and the author of ‘The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Addiction,’ my ‘go to’ book is still “Why Don’t They Just Quit? ~Sandy Swenson
Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~Lynda A
Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you to better understand those who are dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ
> If someone can stop using drugs or alcohol for weeks at a time, they “aren’t an addict—correct?
> Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?
>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?
>Should my husband “back off?”
>Gambling vs. Drug Addiction? What is your opinion?
>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?
>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?
–from “The Value of Consequences.” to Blog Home
Value of Consequences, Value of Consequences