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I promote what I permit.



In my parenting mode, I have said, “I have told you ten times to stop that or to get this done.”


Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you have said the same thing. It is customary for me to use this kind of declaration when I feel that my request has been ignored. Subsequently, I follow up with, “why don’t you do what I asked?”


It becomes easy to doubt my own credibility in this situation. I question whether my first nine requests come off as mere suggestions. When I am allowing this to occur, I am promoting poor behavior. It is easy to get upset with them, rather than look at my responsibility in this matter.


I need to consider my request and figure out how I fit into this conversation because, wow, assigning blame in this situation is such a blind spot. I should have made sure my request was answered the first time. If I have asked something nine times, I will be mad the tenth time.


I have found that gently curious questions can prevent this from happening. “It’s bedtime, what do you know I need you to do?” Follow this up with, “What do you think will happen if you don’t get it completed on time?” I might get various answers, but I will praise them if it is done well, and I will discipline them if it is not.


I like to use discipline here not punish. Discipline to me means to teach and mold. Punish indicates inflicting harm or retribution. I choose to teach and mold.

Sometimes I use delayed discipline which can be more effective than immediate discipline.


At times, I ask for something to get done and my request didn’t get the proper response. Now if I am asked for a favor later (“Can I stay late at Susie’s party?” etc.) I teach and mold with this, “If you had done what I requested last night, do you think I would allow this?”


If shoes or a bag are left somewhere they shouldn't be and I ask what they should do with them, and they don't respond, I can take custody of the items, and put them somewhere. When they come looking for them, I will then ask what I requested them to do with them the previous evening. Then I will tell them I took possession of them and put them in one of several places, so they can now go look for them.


Again, this is not intended to be punitive; rather, it is intended to cause them to feel the heat and frustration and not me. They now get to look for what they should have taken care of previously. I can use fun, humor, and siding with them during this process. I can even help them look. This doesn't have to be harsh.


Do I permit the nine times and let it be okay or do I present my request in a firm believable manner so that I don’t promote sloppy behavior that doesn’t work for anyone?


I get to be in control of my disposition when I am strategic and intentional about conveying my needs to others. I choose to be in the teaching, molding method.


What about you? Do you promote what you permit? Does this strike a chord?


Watch for the blind spots.




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