Being an effective parent and person in general is all about having the discipline to make good choices. We all have the freedom to choose how we act, what we say, how we respond to situations and challenges, how we treat other people, and how we deal with an impulse. Each choice, no matter how small, is always accompanied by a cost, a consequence, or a result. If, for example, you watch a television program, it was at the “cost” of not doing something else. If you get angry and kick the machine you are working on, the cost or consequence can be a broken toe. If you create a relationship with a server at a restaurant by asking the server’s name, the result may be better service.
People who are effective in life are disciplined enough to think before they act or speak. They think about where each particular choice will lead—to something positive or negative. They think ahead to see if they are going to be satisfied with the consequence that a particular choice will bring. If they are satisfied, they go ahead in that direction. If not, they think again and choose to act or speak differently—in a way that will bring a consequence that they can more happily accept.
How do you become more effective in all aspects of life? It’s all about developing the discipline to make wise choices that build trust—so you can trust yourself and so that others can trust you. In fact, any positive relationship and/or experience is based on trust.
So what does this have to do with parenting? When you take the time and the steps to increase your effectiveness, you are actually teaching your child about responsibility. In fact, the more you hone your own effectiveness, the more your children will imitate your behavior and will develop the necessary skills to make smart decisions and be personally effective as well.
In the end, promoting responsibility in your children begins with your level of effectiveness.