Pillar #2 (Cont) Make Expectations Clear, Be Firm

Tip 105 – Set up for success with firm expectations.

Fair, Firm, and Positive

These are the three basic parameters for effective discipline. They work together to decrease misbehavior. In addition, they help your child learn to take charge of him or herself and in the end become his or her own best friend.

This tip will explain firm. The next will be about positive.

Scenario: You are going to visit a friend and want your child to behave well during the visit. Be prepared! Bring along your child’s own personalized “goody bag.” Maybe he or she loves a particular puzzle or has a favorite book. Possibly you have some other activity that you think your child will enjoy. Take some time to analyze your situation so that you will have with you what you need for your child to be happily engaged for the duration of your visit.

Start by explaining to your child your expectations. If he or she uses any or all of these items appropriately, he or she will enjoy some special activity of choice after the visit like going out for dinner, having a special story, playing a favorite game, or doing something else that is meaningful to you both. If he or she does not do well with the specially selected items, you will skip the chosen reward.

You are half-way there! You have put your child in the position of making a choice—follow the directions and reap the rewards or ignore the directions and face some difficulties. Now is the easy part. Follow up.

That’s it! Congratulations! You were just fair! 

Now time to add on firm.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Your child knows the difference. That’s it!

Once you and your child get used to this pattern, you will find that most outings that might have been difficult in the past have just become easier.

~ Dr. Sally


July! The Month of the Parents

Did you ever hear this saying before? “You can’t get there unless you know where you are going.” It just so happens that our July 4th Independence Day message speaks directly to this point. Here is the excerpt from


This word has it own special meaning in the world of parenting. We all bring up children from the point in time that they were totally dependent on us to a stage around the age of 18 when they will become totally (or some version of that) independent. Independence is our goal. It is that exact achievement that we all look forward to with great pride.

Check in tomorrow at Tuesday Afternoon Tea. There we answer questions. While I love all site features, writing the Q &A section is always a favorite.



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