tighten the reins

tighten the reins

To begin doing something more carefully or cautiously; to regain or tighten control of someone or something. This thesis you're planning is becoming unfocused. I think you should tighten the reins a bit. I wish those parents would tighten the rein on their kids, the little devils are tearing the place apart!
See also: reins, tighten
References in periodicals archive ?
In these situations, bullies have only one recourse: tighten the reins around the subservient, confirm loyalty, weed out perceived traitors, and take out their frustrations on those who are still listening.
Now Bombardier - one of Northern Ireland's largest employers - has had to announce job cuts as they attempt to tighten the reins on their operation here in order to remain economically viable.
House Speaker Joe Straus, meanwhile, also announced that his upcoming budget proposal will tighten the reins on state contracting.
In an attempt to slow spending, the agency is rewriting job descriptions of officials so they may tighten the reins on judges who award an alarmingly high number of disability benefits cases.
and abroad never ceases to tighten the reins of both small and blue chip companies in the sector.
While striving to tighten the reins on problem owners, the rules are more bark than bite.
To improve his firm's control of its brokers' listings, his company made changes to its website to tighten the reins on individual brokers' pages.
For herring stocks, which have reached a new record low level, the Commission - which admits that, for a number of years, quotas for this stock have been set well above scientific advice - has decided to tighten the reins and reduce TACs (for the Western zone) to 15,884 tonnes (compared with 22,690 tonnes in 2010, or -30%) and to 91,640 tonnes (instead of 126,380 tonnes in 2010, ie -28%) for central stock.
I like people to enjoy their rugby but it was time to tighten the reins and lay the law down.
But in seeing what this has done to our membership, we have started to tighten the reins on the service.
DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama, who is set to become prime minister if his party takes power, looked pleased with the survey results but said he realizes a need to tighten the reins down the homestretch of the campaign.
ACOUNTANCY practices are thriving as businesses tighten the reins and keep a closer eye on their financial situation.
SMALL businesses on Teesside are turning in ever greater numbers to alternative funding agencies as banks tighten the reins on lending.
He is also trying to tighten the reins a little bit with Dixon, who said he got himself into trouble last season with risky attempts to make big plays.
Although it is sad that it takes incidents like the murder of a teenager to force us to address the issues of discipline and the moral conduct of young people, this should be taken as an opportunity to tighten the reins and hopefully turn future British adults into moral, decent people.