A few weeks ago, I saw a dad trying in vain to deal with his 3-year-old girl who was trying to look through the window of her big sister’s classroom.

“Matilda come away from there, Matilda come away from there, Matilda come away from there, Matilda come away from there,” the dad repeated from a distance.

After the Matilda (not her real name) ignored his pleas, he just gave up and took out his phone.

Similarly, I was at a kid’s party with one of my sons when another child from another party started to misbehave.

“If you do that again, we’re going home,” his mum warned.

The looked at her defiantly and did it again.

They didn’t go home.

I call this pointless parenting because in reality, they would have been better not to say anything at all.

If you’re going to tell your child to do something, they just have to do it.

That’s the deal.

Because if your children ignore you today, when will they ever listen to you?

If they won’t do the easy little things, how can you get them to do the difficult important things?

If there are no consequences for their actions now, how will they understand the consequences for their actions when they get older?

And if they know that you won’t follow through with your threat of punishment, how will you ever control their behaviour?

I know that parenting’s hard work.

I have three amazing kids, but they can be brutal at times.

But I also have a responsibility to them.

I have a responsibility to ensure that they have boundaries and that these boundaries are enforced.

I have a responsibility to help them to learn acceptable behaviour.

If you ask something of your children, you have to follow through with it.

If you pick a battle with them, you have to win.

Because if you think it’s hard now, just wait until they’re teenagers.

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