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August 12, 2015

Law Enforcement

Hal photo outside Feb2012What you cannot enforce, do not command.” (Sophocles)

Some of us fantasize about our kids (or our employees) simply obeying all the rules all the time, without us having to ever enforce any consequences. Good luck.

So, what to do? Lecturing is ineffective and erodes the fabric of the relationship that you’ve worked so hard to build. With that stated, the consequences that you wish to enforce must be chosen wisely.

Many times, people get paralyzed by this notion because they want to believe that there is a perfect consequence for each kind of infraction. Not so. Really, any consequence will do – IF you can enforce it.

The next time you need to lay down the law, remember: empty threats are really broken promises. We can’t overpromise, then under deliver, and wonder why our kids don’t respect us.

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