the huntered housewife

our family life, our way

The Power of the Full Stop.

on September 2, 2011

I read an article over the weekend about the power of the full stop. As in the punctuation full stop, but in speech rather than writing.

I can’t remember where I read it – given that it was on the weekend it may have been in the Sunday paper. Or maybe Saturday’s. I wish I could reference it because the concept is great. If you read it & can tell me where, please let me know! I was discussing it with my Mum tonight (she had cut it out for me but forgotten to bring it, but I had already read it). My Mum followed this system without even realising it. And I turned out ok, so I guess it works!

The concept is that when you tell the kids to do something, give them the instruction then use a full stop. Do not offer an reason. Instruction, full stop. Sounds easy hey?

If you give an explanation as to why you want them to do something, you lose them. Too many words makes them switch off. They don’t listen. The example given was along the lines of  “It’s time to leave the park because if we don’t go now your little sister won’t have time for a sleep and then she will be tired and cranky later and we won’t be able to do blah blah blah…..” How much of it do you think sank in?
This is easier:

“It’s time to go.”

One simple, clear instruction.

Personally, I give a “5 more minutes” warning when leaving time is nearing & rarely get resistance when it is time to leave as the kids knew it was coming and have had their “last one slide”.

It has been ticking around in my head all week and I am trying to be more aware of what I say. Kids don’t need everything explained. Sometimes “because I said so” or “because I’m the Mum” is the best reason to give. God knows, they seemed to be the ONLY reasons we heard as kids.

Liam, almost 9, in particular will benefit from this concept. Which means I will too. I often find myself still talking & he has already started walking away, having switched off.

Generation Y want to know everything because they have been given reasons for everything. They don’t know any different. I find that too much is explained these days, instead of something just being something because it just is.

What do you think? Are you an explainer or do you use a full stop?

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One response to “The Power of the Full Stop.

  1. I generally use the full stop – my kids dont need to know everything! They know too much as it is….. but will be a little more conscious over the following school holiday period now….. Thanks, will let u know what happens – if I really am a full stop mum…. or an explainer!

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