Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep…Or Don’t Want To Keep

If you weren’t able to come to my most recent workshop “My Top Five Favorite Parenting Strategies” you missed a good one.  But no fear…I’m here to share number five! 

Imagine this scenario: you are getting ready in the morning and your kiddo is taking FOREVER to get her shoes on.  You tell her to hurry up and she starts moving even slower, looking at her toys, playing with the dog, making goofy faces in the mirror…you know…all the things that drive a parent crazy in the morning when we’re trying to get out the door. 

So you say to your little sweetie pie, “If you don’t hurry up and get those shoes on, you are not going to Grandma’s house this weekend!”  You have an important event this weekend and you have already made arrangements with your mother to watch your little sweetie pie.  You know she LOVES to go to Grandma’s house.  After all which kid doesn’t?  You know in the back of your mind she will go to Grandma’s regardless because you have that important event but you are hoping that threat will light a fire under her. 

Here lies the problem.  What if you have to go and put shoes on your kiddo yourself?  Are you really going to take away Grandma’s house?  You have now just made a blank threat.  What is your little sweetie pie going to learn?  She is going to learn that you do not mean what you say.  So here it is…Enforceable Statements…my number five favorite strategy. 

Let me offer some Enforceable Statements: if you choose to make faces in the mirror, you are choosing to lose your tablet for the rest of the day; by choosing to make Mommy late for work, you are choosing to go to bed 30 minutes early tonight; feel free to pick up the toys you want to keep, any left after you go to bed will be donated (then make sure you do it!). 

I hope this helps!  Good luck and enforce on!