Has this happened to anyone? I was at the mall today in the play area (which I rarely go into these days due to time) and a little girl went zooming down the slide and ran into two little kids at the bottom. Now, she may not have been five, but she was old enough to understand. Her mother came over and I explained what happened (the little baby was crying) and she told her daughter to go sit on the bench, but first to apologize to the children. Did the little girl do either? No, and did the mother follow through on either? Nope. Several times she tried this with her daughter. And the little girl ignored her and kept on playing.
The moral of the story-It is so important for our children to understand that when we say something, we mean it. If they learn, as this little girl clearly has, that mommy or daddy may threaten but never follows through, they actually have control over the situation, and to an extent, us as parents. Sometimes it's very difficult to do this, especially if we are in a restaurant, or with other people. Then I would strongly suggest we don't make a threat we can't keep. Say something that you can follow through with-even, for those children 3 and older, if the punishment comes in a day or two. John Rosemond explained in his book "Parenting By the Book" that once a child is 3, his/her memory has developed enough for the discipline to be carried out even a day later. For 5 and 6 year olds, over a few days would still be appropriate.
So my thought for tonight is that I'm going to try to think before I speak and follow through on my threats. Good luck-it takes practice, but it's well worth it in the end!
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