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Do your words match your actions?

November 18, 2011

Here’s a great idea …

In his book, Soft-Spoken Parenting, H. Wallace Goddard says, “Children learn the meaning of our words by connecting them to our actions. When our words and actions don’t match, they believe our actions and ignore our words.”

In other words …

As parents, we sometimes make rules but don’t enforce them. We may ask our child to do something, but we don’t follow through to make sure it gets done. Or we may tell our child they can’t have or do something, but after they whine and wearing us down, we give in. This leaves our children feeling confused. It’s also an invitation for them to test us to see if we are serious. When we make our actions match our words, our children will take our words more seriously.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life …

The next time you ask your child to pick up his toys, take the time to make sure he does it. You might even offer to help him. If you tell your daughter you will not buy her a candy bar to eat in the grocery store while you are shopping, don’t give in, even if she whimpers. Be consistent! When you make only the rules you care enough about to enforce, your children will quickly learn to obey the rules you set.

To find out more …

about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife, or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Soft-Spoken Parenting.

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