Dads, Five Ways to Make Your Words Count

Dads, Five Ways to Make Your Words Count

Crawford Loritts reflects on five lessons he learned from his father on how to speak so that your children take your words seriously:

  1. Don't waste words. Don't add a lot of apologies or unnecessary detail that make you look timid.
  2. Don't threaten.
  3. Be clear about expectations. When you tell someone, especially a child, how to behave or what to do, make sure you both are very clear about what you expect.
  4. Be clear about consequences, particularly if your expectations involve an area with which that child has struggled in the past.
  5. Take clear, decisive action. . . .

Say what you mean and back up your words with action. It's a testimony to your integrity and an example your children will carry with them throughout their lives.

Never Walk Away, (Chicago: Moody, 1997), 96, emphasis mine.

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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–St. Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their five children. He is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary, author of Reading to Walk: Meditations for the Christian Life, and co-editor of Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice.