From “Screamfree Parenting” by Hal Runkel
Never promise more than you can perform. “
— Publilius Syrus
Simple, right? If you promise little Timmy kid Disneyworld, you take him to Disneyworld. He sees that you can be trusted and all is well. The trick is to have this attitude in ALL promises, not just the pleasant ones.
Remember, empty threats are really broken promises. And just because they aren’t as fun to fulfill doesn’t make that principle any less true. Don’t tell your child that you are going to do something only to not do it. Even though they might act relieved if you back down from a consequence, they really aren’t. You have confused things and made the next encounter with discipline that much harder for both of you.
Well, do now see how they are the same, the good and the bad? Often I think parents tend to focus on only seeing the need to follow through on the “good” things, as we are reminded above. But even more important is the follow through on consequences or punishments – if you cannot follow through and carry out what you state, then DON’T SAY IT! Your child learns not to trust you in the same manner they do when you promise to do something with them or take them somewhere. Do you see the importance of your child being able to know that what you say is what you mean? It is key to the flow inside your home and the outcome of rough circumstances. If you have questions or concerns on how to make this happen in your home, I would love to talk with you. Sign up for your free 30 minute coaching session and we can brainstorm together.