Following through on what you say is so important in every relationship. If you threaten to leave your husband over and over but never leave it will likely get to the point where he doesn't give any credit to what you say, or worse, he just won't care. If you threaten to quit your job but don't follow through your boss will likely not take you seriously or will fire you for before you ever get a chance to quit. If you tell your friend you will do something and don't follow through they will likely not be calling you again when they need you. I think the most important relationship where follow through is a necessity is the parent/child relationship.
I like to think Garrett and I have done a pretty good job raising Garrison (and Ethan so far). He is not perfect by any means but I am so glad Garrett and I have remained consistent with discipline from the beginning. I always told myself that if I threatened something I would be sure to follow through. When Garrison was about 2 or 3 we were in the grocery store with a buggy FULL of groceries. I told him if he didn't stop whatever he was doing we were going to leave the store and go home. He didn't stop. After inwardly cursing at myself for speaking too soon I realized I had to follow through. I left an entire buggy full of groceries in the aisle and walked out of the store. Of course I was mad that I would have to repeat that entire grocery trip but I was also so proud of myself knowing that I had followed through and sure enough it paid off. I have never had to leave a store since then.
I just wish parents knew how much easier they could make it on themselves if they simply followed through with what they threatened and stayed consistent with discipline from the beginning. Kids don't really need 5 warnings. If they constantly get their way as kids what kind of adults do you think they will become? Probably the ones you can't stand to be around. My advice for whatever it's worth is that it serves you and your kiddos best if you set those boundaries early, use age appropriate discipline and follow through with what you say. I promise your life will be much easier. And we all know a happy Mama usually results in a happy household.
Thank goodness my mother-in-law doesn't do this!