Think It, Say It, Mean It, Do It
This is another one of those obvious ones but a common mistake we repeatedly make. Do you ever wonder why your child never does what you ask him to do? Why you’re always repeating yourself and he’s ignoring you? It’s because we’ve unwittingly taught our children to ignore us.
Here’s a good example from Pantley:
A parent calls to the child that it’s time to leave the house but then gets sidetracked with something along the way. A bit later, the parent calls, “Ready to go!” but again gets sidetracked on the way to the door. Only after a few more rounds of this game is the parent actually – finally – ready to leave. The child, in the meantime, has been ignoring all requests made.
I don’t know about you but that certainly sounds like our family… No wonder Gavin often ignores our requests for him to do things. So the next time, before you ask your child to do something, think first about what exactly it is that you need him to do. Then, make a clear and specific request. If he does not comply, have a follow through plan that you can execute calmly with purpose. It is often the lack of follow through that communicates to our children that a lot of what we say is optional.
The Discipline Armoury: Tip 17 – Daily Routines