What is Your Action Point?

Why does Dad get the kids in bed faster than Mom? Or, Why do children respond differently in the classroom, on the playground, and in the home? The answer to these questions has a number of parts but one piece of the puzzle is what we call an action point.

An action point reveals the cues that you mean business, that the words you are saying now are not just a suggestion but that they are an instruction you expect your child to follow. An action point is the point in the interaction where you stop talking and start acting by giving a consequence.

In some situations the action point is very long in coming. Why do babysitters get taken advantage of? Some babysitters have no action point. Grandmas fall into two categories. Either they are critical because your action point isn't tight enough or they have very little action point at all.

We don't want to suggest that you avoid talking and just start commanding children around with threats of impending doom. What we're suggesting is that your children need cues besides anger that the discussion is over and it's time to follow through. It may be a particular kind of look or tone of voice or a choice of words. One dad said, "When I give an instruction I try to use my daughter's name and I'll often say the word "now," for example "Kristen, please get in the car now."

Children are smart and they learn different action points from various parents, teachers and leaders. In some ways it might be helpful to view it as a game recognizing that kids learn how to play you. They continue what they're doing up until the point when they know you'll take action. Your children know your action point.

Take time to decide what you want that action point to look like. Avoid meanness and teach your children cues that will avoid harshness or anger. Those cues can be a great asset in keeping relationships healthy.

What benefits have you seen in your family by tightening your action point?

Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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  1. Action point can also be positive. What I do with my kids in the residential facility who are very impulsive is to make them stay still for five minutes before the next activity. When I get my stopwatch out then know that they will get to the next activity in five minutes. I also use it for when we take kids to the opportunity room. I say you have one minute to walk to opportunity room on your own or we are going to transport you. One kid told me he does not like when people just grab him so I try to warn everybody before going hands on. I more often don't have to put hands on now.