Biddulph said it, and now Pantley reaffirms it – sometimes you just need to pull out the “Mum” card. However, there is a difference between being “firm” and being harsh. I think the line between this distinction is often blurred when we’re trying too hard to be an authoritative parent. I’m sure I’ve crossed the line more times than I care to recall.
For this tip, Pantley offers some great advice for staying on the right side of the line:
- get eye to eye – don’t call from a distance or mumble
- say what you mean – don’t make empty threats
- be clear and specific – make sure your child understands what you want
- be polite – “please” and “thank you” still apply
- stay calm – don’t get angry
- follow through with action – help you child do what you want by leading him
- be consistent – follow these steps every time
I’m sure all this is common sense stuff that we all know. Yet knowing it and practicing it is not always that easy. It is easy to forget, especially when your child is so good at pushing all your buttons. I find a little revision is always helpful.