What overworked, overwhelmed parent hasn’t said “no” repeatedly, only to give in to a whiny, persistent child? After all, pick your battles, right? Not so fast. Saying one thing and then doing another can set you and your child up for a lifetime of unintended consequences.
What to do instead? Speak Your Truth. Get your thoughts, words and actions into alignment.
Let’s consider three repercussions when you don’t say what you mean and mean what you say.
1. Your child becomes a pest. “I already told you, the answer is no – why do you continue to ask me?” I’ll tell you why. Maybe your child has learned from an early age that if he annoys and pesters you enough, you will change your mind.
We’ve all been witness to a situation in the grocery store or toy store where some screaming child ended up getting what they wanted after we heard the parent say no numerous times. The parent, through their frustration, rewards the child for their persistence. The problem is, that pattern doesn’t stop when a child gets older – in fact it intensifies.
As difficult as it may be, say “No” once. When the child continues to ask, say, “I’ve already given you my answer and I’m not changing my mind. Should you continue to ask, I’ll have to give you a consequence.” And then follow through. After that, don’t engage. Stay mute. I know it’s challenging but changing behaviors takes consistency and time.
2. Your child becomes high-maintenance and high drama. Have you ever watched a child throw a fit long past the terrific two’s? Show me a child who yells, screams and demands his or her way, and I’ll show you a parent whose words and actions are not the same. When a child doesn’t respect the parent’s word, they put themselves on the same playing field as the parent. This creates the opportunity for a demanding child to embrace drama to get their way.
3. Your child is less likely to act on your requests. Do you want to know why a child won’t do what you ask? The answer is simple. They don’t have to. There is no immediate consequence, because you’re inconsistent with your follow-through and discipline.
The biggest consequence of being out of alignment? You teach your child not to trust you. How can they believe that they are beautiful, special and loved when other things you say aren’t true? Give your child the confidence and esteem they need to survive and thrive in today’s world. Speak Your Truth.
Colette Carlson is a funny human behavior expert and founder of Speak Your Truth, Inc. who learned her message the hard way. She started out as a big fat liar. Literally. Only by telling the truth on herself was she able to break through her fears, lose over 50 lbs. and take healthy risks. Today she inspires audiences as far away as South Africa, at companies such as Aflac, Cisco and PepsiCo, and within the pages of Success and Working Mother Magazines to Think It! Speak It! Live It! Maximize relationships, revenue, and results by speaking your truth in your thoughts, words, and actions. For additional articles go to www.SpeakYourTruth.com