Updated: Nov 12, 2022
The one thing that gets us most in trouble in life is not accepting the call to stop. Stop touching, stop talking, stop yelling, stop moving, stop buying, stop, stop, stop, stop! A child isn't in trouble when their teacher asks them to stop talking the first or second times. The situation, however, changes when the teacher is forced to take classroom or administrative action on them because they're continually disrupting the class: they didn't stop!
If you could help your child avoid making some of the mistakes you've made in life, wouldn't you want to?
The ability to accept, "Stop," and, "No," is an essential skill in my opinion. If we can keep our friends, stay out of trouble, and keep our jobs, we can live a life with much fewer distractions that may come from social rejection, legal troubles, and financial stress.
"Stop,' means what?"
That's the question I ask my kids when they fail to stop doing something after someone else has asked them to stop. I started that when my son was 3 or 4, and I continue to do it to this day with both him and my daughter. It doesn't feel old or annoying (at least not to me) and it teaches them this very important habit (or skill) of stopping when they're asked to. I do the same thing with the word, "No."
You don't have to be a mind-reader to figure out the types of scenarios I'm alluding to with these lessons. Whether my kids are on a date or pranking someone, or simply having an argument with someone: these two little words are usually spoken by someone who is vulnerable to our actions or words. Stop, let off, stand down, and cool it.
I don't want to grow old one day and find out that my son is in trouble because he did not respect the explicit request to stop while on a date with someone. I don't want my daughter to end up in jail because she couldn't control her impulse to push someone into a lake as a joke after the person asked others to not do that. Despite my lessons, if anything like these things would ever happen, I wouldn't be able to shake the feeling that I didn't do enough as a dad. But I can at least say that I tried my best. Love your children enough to be redundant and annoying with this lesson. You'll be helping your babies, and you'll be helping others.