Ministry Resources

Parenting Action Points

Author: Dr. Scott Turansky

How often have you told your son to get ready for bed, and then had to say it again and again before he started to move?

Or have you told your daughter to pick up her toys and then found them spread all over? How long does it take to get your teenager off the phone? Or to mow the lawn? One of the solutions to this kind of problem is a tight action point, but that means some changes in mom or dad first.

Sometimes parents get attached to the ways they relate to their children, even when those ways are a part of the problem. Improving children’s behavior sometimes requires a change in the parents first. By making small adjustments you can bring about significant changes in your home.

Children are unique. No one approach works all the time, but there are some truths to parenting that can be applied to all children. Action point is one of them. One way to see immediate improvement in your children’s behavior is to tighten your action point.

An action point is the point when you stop talking and start acting, or the point when children know you mean business.

You already have an action point and your children know what it is. How do they know? You give them cues. Sometimes you get out of your chair. Maybe you raise the pitch and tone of your voice. Or perhaps you use their middle name.

The important thing about an action point is that children know when they must obey and they know they don’t have to obey until you get there. Each adult has a different action point.

Here are four important things to remember about your action point.

  1. An action point teaches children when they must obey
  2. Action points vary among people who discipline
  3. Children learn to respond to each person’s action point
  4. Being consistent with a tight action point is hard work, but it is worth it in the end.

Tightening an action point requires that parents make important changes in themselves first. It takes work, but if parents tighten their action point then children obey more quickly.

When you understand that teaching obedience is an important part of your role as a parent, you’ll be more motivated to keep a tight action point.

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