Parenting Vivian | 24 Nov 2010 01:26 am

One Simple Parenting Strategy – Using Enforceable Statements

An enforceable statement is one that tells your kid what you will do or allow rather than telling them what to do. How many times have you been embarrassed by your child because they don’t do what you say? If you’re like most parents, probably more times than you’d like to remember.

One of the benefits to parents that use enforceable statements is that we don’t look like a fool when we can’t get our kids to do what we say. Since the only person we can really control is ourselves, it makes much more sense to tell your child what you will do instead.

Another benefit of using enforceable statements is that your child will experience a feeling of shared control. This results in less resistance if they feel they don’t have to fight with you to regain their control that they feel was lost. In other words, less power struggles.

Which leads me to the next benefit of using enforceable statements, we engage in less power struggles! By using enforceable statements we can avoid getting sucked into the illusion that we can control something that we cannot. This is the ultimate power struggle.

The following are some examples of enforceable statements. Remember you are telling your child what you will do.

?I will listen when you have a nice calm voice.

?I will take you and your brother (wherever they want to go) when I don’t have to worry about you fighting in the back seat.

?Any toys I see on the floor in an hour, I will give away (or keep for a week).

?I will allow the TV or video games when chores and homework are done.

?I let kids have a healthy snack before dinner when they ask politely.

?I will be happy to listen to you when I am off the phone.

It’s important to remember that using these will take practice and you’ll probably blow it from time to time, or just forget. That’s okay, just keep going and remember to follow through with whatever you said you would do. It’s very important to be consistent with your word. Your children have to know that what you say, you mean. That is perhaps as difficult as using enforceable statements, but no one ever said being a good parent was easy. No, it’s not easy, but with practice your parenting skills will blossom.

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