Now, first, here's a short history for perspective of where I'm coming from.
I guess that thinking about my words before speaking them was somehow ingrained in me from a very early age. I was basically very shy in grade school and was very self conscious. I was so afraid of being ridiculed for something that I said that I just never said much unless I was certain of what I wanted to say.
In any case, one day in a highschool study group for science, a friend stopped me cold with "Why are you always right?" It turned out to be a compliment, and my friend was just expressing his wonderment of how I had such a great track record for being correct with what I said. A confidence builder for sure, but not 100% true.
Later in highschool, I argued with an English teacher almost constantly over my written work since I'd always gotten excellent grades in English and I couldn't get above a C+ in her class. Finally it all came to a head at the end of the year, and she admitted that my work had been as good as any other student but she had noticed that I not only had writing talent, but also always had something to say - as in the difference between a wise man and a fool is that a fool has to say something, but a wise man has something to say. Therefor she was convinced that I could and should do even better.
Another friend, shortly after my highschool days, commented that I wasn't a conversationalist, because I always insisted on talking only about meaningful things rather than the weather we were having at the time.
In any case, I think our kids need to learn about that Horton the Elephant business as much as possible. I've rarely made idle threats - if I tell my nephews that I'm turning around right now and taking them home if they don't stop bouncing around in the back seat of the car,... I Mean It! Else I don't say it. Kids are very good at picking up on empty threats. If I'm not prepared to follow through on the consequences of what I want to say, then I just don't say it. Is that such a bad way to live?
Adults need to learn about Horton the Elephant too.