I was talking to my former neighbor the other day. She’s 93 years old and raised two sons. I asked for her best piece of parenting advice. Her response, “Stick to your words.” Funny thing was, I had just done that a few days earlier. My son had done something he knew he shouldn’t have—he’d been warned, so I took away his iPad and quietly said, “You just lost this for the weekend.”
That’s when the begging for compromise began. He even reminded me how “God forgives us” so I should forgive him and give him back his iPad. I admit, I almost caved, but I didn’t. I reminded myself that if I gave in, my word would mean nothing with my son. That’s one of the 5 ways to stick to what you say in parenting. Sticking to what you say in parenting is one of the 3 Discipline Basics. But just because it’s a “basic” doesn’t make it easy to do! Here are 5 ways to stick to what you say in parenting. Check out the rest so you can stick to what you say too!
1. Think before you speak.
In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to give some pretty extreme consequences. “If you don’t clean your room right now, you’re not going outside for a year!” See? So before you let the words come out of your mouth, be sure they’re realistic and something you can stick with.
If your kids know you’re wishy-washy, your word isn’t worth much. Once they peg you as a “giver-inner,” they’ll push and push until they get you to cave. So keep that in mind when you feel your resolve crumbling.
3. It’s better for them.
When our sweet children promise us “I’ll never do it again” or that “I’ll make my bed every day from now on,” we want to believe them…we really do. But if they get out of consequences with sweet pleadings, they’ll never get the benefit of learning from receiving consequences for their actions.
4. Get back up.
If you feel yourself wavering, call for back up. Get your husband in on the plan and have him step in with fresh resolve when you feel yourself getting weak.
5. Walk away.
Don’t get drawn into long arguments with your kids about why you need to change your mind or lessen the consequence. Restate the consequence and tell them that you are not changing your mind. If they try to engage you, say, “I have told you what we’re going to do, and that’s it. Thanks for your input, but I’m doing this because I love you and I want you to learn this lesson so we don’t have to go through this over and over again.” You’re done. Exit the room.
Tell Us! How do you stick to what you say?