I’ve always been a “natural consequences” kind of mom. I figure that learning things through negative consequences is always more effective than a lecture. You wanna wear your sweatshirt in 98 degree heat? Fine, see how that works for you. You insist on putting hot sauce all over your dinner? Fine, that’s what you will eat. Wanna stick your finger in a electric socket? Okay, that one I might intervene on.

The other night, we decided to try some natural consequences with India, who was throwing a fit because we would not give her any coffee. Mark and I craftily decided that we would just give her some black decaf coffee in her sippee cup, and figured that would be the end of it. I mean, what kid would enjoy bitter, unsweetened Illy decaf?

Wrong. India drank the entire cup. She paraded around with glee all evening, gloating about her very own coffee.