• Using Enforceable Statements

    Many children have an uncanny ability to get us pulled into trying to control what we really cannot. You can recognize this and avoid this trap by using enforceable statements. Enforceable statements tell kids what WE will do or allow…rather than trying to tell THEM what to do.

    When we set limits by saying what WE will do or what WE will allow:

    • We avoid looking like a fool when we can’t get our kids to do what we say.

    • We share some control with our children. As a result, they are much less likely to resist in order to regain control.

    • We avoid getting sucked into trying to control something we really can’t.


    Examples of Enforceable Statements:

    • I give treats to kids who protect their teeth by brushing.

    • Breakfast is served until 7:30. Get all you need to hold you till lunch.

    • My car is leaving at 8 a.m.

    • I’ll listen as soon as your voice is as calm as mine.

    • I’ll take you guys the places you want to go in the car when I don’t have to worry about fighting in the back seat.

    • I’ll do all of the things I do for you around here when I’m feeling respected.

    • I give allowance to those who finish their chores.

    • I’ll provide TV and Nintendo when the chores are done.

    • I keep the toys I have to pick up. You can keep the ones you pick up.

    • I’ll be happy to buy you the clothes I feel are appropriate.

    • I’ll be happy to listen to you as soon as your father and I are finished talking.

    Adapted from loveandlogic.com