Crawford Loritts reflects on five lessons he learned from his father on how to speak so that your children take your words seriously:
- Don't waste words. Don't add a lot of apologies or unnecessary detail that make you look timid.
- Don't threaten.
- 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.
- Be clear about consequences, particularly if your expectations involve an area with which that child has struggled in the past.
- 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.