All For Your Family

new book

All For Your Family

The fol­low­ing arti­cle in Huffington Post high­lights 26 things good par­ents should not do to avoid screw­ing up their kids. Today’s par­ents tend to dote, con­trol and live through their chil­dren. I just hap­pen to have a new book, hot off the press, which explains how par­ents can make these changes and why it is so impor­tant. It makes a per­fect present for new and not so new par­ents. I think you will all love the cover 🙂 

All For Your Family, by Sharon Youngman

Available on Amazon

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-wendy-mogel/the-26-step-program-for-good-parents-gone-bad_b_5147991.html?ir=Parents&utm_campaign=041514&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-parents&utm_content=Photo

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Good Job

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Good Job

 

Motivating chil­dren and build­ing con­fi­dence is impor­tant. Parents and teach­ers do their best to accom­plish this goal and it is help­ful to keep this one prin­ci­ple in mind:

Compliments that are spe­cific are more pow­er­ful than com­pli­ments that are gen­eral.

When a par­ent sees her child draw­ing a pic­ture they might say you are doing such a good job or I like your pic­ture. There is absolutely noth­ing wrong with that but if you can be more spe­cific it will impact your child even more. Imagine telling a child “I like your pic­ture and I espe­cially like the way you added details,” you not only give a gen­eral com­pli­ment but you point to some­thing spe­cific that your child can really ben­e­fit from. Think about our adult world. If our boss told us that we were doing a good job or that the report we did was good we obvi­ously would be happy. But if they were spe­cific about why they liked our work or what about the report was par­tic­u­larly good we would know the com­pli­ment was sin­cere. It would also help us know what in par­tic­u­lar they liked so we could build on it.

As a class­room teacher it was easy to sur­vey the room and com­pli­ment the class on how well they were all work­ing but imag­ine if I walked around the room and gave spe­cific com­ments to sev­eral stu­dents that were per­sonal and authen­tic. This would be sig­nif­i­cantly more pow­er­ful.

I always told my chil­dren that I loved them and was proud of them. Unconditional love and praise is a beau­ti­ful thing but often it becomes mean­ing­less if chil­dren don’t con­nect with it. Elevate your praise from “good job” to “I like the way you did______  .” The smile on your child’s face will be your reward.

 

 

http://blog.positivediscipline.com/2012/01/compliments-create-positive-atmosphere.html

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Parenting Styles

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Parenting styles are as diverse as peo­ple. Our atti­tudes about par­ent­ing are often affected by our par­ents in that we either repli­cate or go the other way. New par­ents may eval­u­ate par­ent­ing styles in a more aca­d­e­mic fash­ion and choose a phi­los­o­phy based on research and per­sonal deci­sions.

As a par­ent edu­ca­tor I respect all par­ent­ing styles and only help par­ents learn strate­gies to help with goals they desire to reach. If some­one were to ask me my opin­ion I would rec­om­mend par­ent­ing less from the heart and more from the head.

I was struck today by the con­trast of par­ent styles I wit­nessed. One dad told me that his pol­icy is Get Over It.  When his chil­dren whine about their feel­ings being hurt or a dis­ap­point­ment he says: “get over it!” This is not a com­fort­able way for me per­son­ally and I am not sure he responds in that fash­ion as often as he states, but the effect of not rein­forc­ing a child’s sad­ness may indeed be that the child learns to be strong and less sen­si­tive. It could also result in neg­a­tive per­son­al­ity traits. On the same day a fam­ily came to see me for tutor­ing. The child was famil­iar with me and our activ­i­ties but decided not to coop­er­ate and would not even resign to come into my home. Trying to be a sen­si­tive and under­stand­ably alert to some warn­ing signs, the mom stayed with her son as he tantrumed for a pro­longed period of time. I sug­gested that the mom cease pay­ing atten­tion to her son and that she and I engage in con­ver­sa­tion. Five min­utes later the lit­tle boy stopped cry­ing, engaged with me and was able to sep­a­rate from mom and par­tic­i­pate in our tutor­ing ses­sion.

Paying close atten­tion to a child’s feel­ings is an approach I per­son­ally feel com­fort­able with. In this sit­u­a­tion, how­ever, it was clear that the child was seemed scared but was really act­ing the part. Reinforcing this behav­ior would even­tu­ally lead to more of the same. Trusting that he was in no dan­ger and that he was in capa­ble and car­ing hands dimin­ished the power of his manip­u­la­tion. If the mom had not respected my opin­ion she would have ended the ses­sion and never come back. The child’s behav­ior would become more pow­er­ful and destruc­tive.

As par­ents learn to address their child’s needs it is help­ful to get in touch with their own moti­va­tions and the ulti­mate effect on their child. Perhaps send­ing a mes­sage to a child that their feel­ings don’t mat­ter, in the case of the get over it dad, is a bit heart­less but allow­ing a child to con­trol the entire fam­ily because their feel­ings are of pri­mary impor­tance can be just as dam­ag­ing.

The answer; par­ent con­sciously and notice what you pay atten­tion to. Your child looks to you as they learn to nav­i­gate their world. 

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Enabling Our Children.….Why?

 

Good Parents Great Kids

 

Why do we enable our chil­dren?

Are you a par­ent who thinks they are doing too much for their child?

Is your child lack­ing in moti­va­tion or respon­si­bil­ity?

Ask your­self these impor­tant ques­tions:

1- Is my help truly nec­es­sary?

2- What is my moti­va­tion for help­ing?

 

Many times par­ents help or enable their child because they want their child to suc­ceed. This will usu­ally help in the short term as the child com­pletes tasks, gets to appoint­ments on time, is well pre­pared and turns in ele­vated assign­ments. Does the par­ent feel pride as their child excells? Would the child have excelled with­out their help? What mes­sage is the child get­tinng from this help? 

The prac­tice of enabling becomes more appar­ent as the par­ent feels obliged to inter­vene for the child’s con­tin­ued suc­cess. The suceess of their child becomes a goal for the par­ent when it should be a goal for the child. The con­tin­ued assis­tance by the par­ent cre­ates a sys­tem whreeby the child depends on the parent’s help and there­fore becomes a pas­sive par­tic­i­pant. There is dimin­ished moti­va­tion and often the child resents the par­ents for their input. In the long term the par­ent must decide whether to con­tinue this sup­port or demen­strate trust in their child.

 

Think about that for a moment or two. Would you ever con­sciously want to con­vey to your child that you don’t trust them? Demonstrating trust in your child is huge. If you are faced with the option of demon­strat­ing to your child that you have faith in them and you choose to involve your­self to insure bet­ter results then you must look in the mir­ror and ask your­self if your motive is ulti­mately self­ish. Yes, self­ish. That may sound harsh but it is imper­a­tive that you sep­a­rate your own ego from your child’s suc­cess. Parents nat­u­rally feel proud of their child. It is unhealthy for both the par­ent and child when the need to see a child suc­ceed trumps the abil­ity to do what is nec­es­sary to raise a respon­si­ble child.

Give your child the gift of inde­pen­dence, con­fi­dence and respon­si­bil­ity by show­ing them that you have faith in them.…and walk away. 

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Addicted To My Phone

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I admit it. I am addicted to my phone, Facebook, emails, and my guilty plea­sure: Bejeweled.

 

There are many rea­sons why my addic­tion con­cerns me but what if I were a par­ent? There are so many more issues at stake.

Modeling obses­sive screen time use, lack of atten­tive lis­ten­ing and prob­a­bly the most dis­con­cert­ing, poten­tial dan­ger from cell phone radi­a­tion to our most pre­cious babies.

Modeling Obsessive Screen Time or “I Need to Respond to This Text.”

If you are con­cerned with the amount of time your child spends on a a screen, look first at what behav­ior you are mod­el­ing. If your child is old enough, and you are brave enough, ask them what they think about your screen time. We all get impor­tant mes­sages but how often do we check our phone because of our com­pul­sive nature rather than true need? Is every thirty min­utes too infre­quent?

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Looking At Our Phone During A Conversation or “I Heard Every Word You Said.”

What mes­sage do we give our chil­dren when we engage in phone use while inter­act­ing with them? Are we say­ing they are not impor­tant enough to get our com­plete atten­tion? If you think look­ing at your phone while con­vers­ing has no impact then try a lit­tle role play­ing exper­i­ment. Evaluate how you feel when some­one looks you in the eye when you talk as opposed to down at their phone. We have all grown accus­tomed to being par­tially ignored. Is that a good thing?

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Are There Effects of Cell Phone Radiation? or We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

What are the effects of cell phone radi­a­tion on our chil­dren? Parents carry their babies and talk on the phone. Where is that phone in rela­tion to the baby’s head? We know that an infant’s skull is not even fully sealed. Should we place any poten­tial dan­ger in close prox­im­ity? Why would we take that chance?

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Cell phones are a part of our lives and most of us love them.  They also often allow us to be rude, unsafe, unpro­duc­tive and dis­tracted. I hope you take a moment to exam­ine your cell phone use and make informed choices for how they can best fit in your life.

Related links within links:

Cell Phone Radiation: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure

Quality Time With Your Children VS Your Phone

https://email17.secureserver.net/webmail.php?folder=INBOX&firstMessage=1

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Sibling Rivalry: One HUGE Lesson

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I remem­ber when I first learned the les­son of not tak­ing sides.

My kids would always fight, about any­thing and every­thing. One day I got sick of being the ref­eree and sent them both to their rooms, which were upstairs. I was amazed at what fol­lowed. After a few min­utes my son began engag­ing his sis­ter and soon they were whis­per­ing and gig­gling and get­ting along like best buds.

I learned a huge les­son that day. My try­ing to be log­i­cal and rea­son­able with their fight­ing was point­less. The main rea­son they argued was to gain favor from me and power over their sib­ling. When I refused to par­tic­i­pate they had no rea­son to con­tinue their bat­tle.

Visit my web­site for more infor­ma­tion on ele­vat­ing par­ent­ing skills and par­ent­ing for school suc­cess: goodparentsgreatkids.com

From then on, when they argued I bit my tongue and let them work it on their own.Image

For more info about sib­ling rivalry:

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/sibling_rivalry.html

http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/parenting/sibling_rivalry.shtml

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Am I Hurting My Child By Doing Too Much

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Am I Hurting My Child By Doing Too Much

My son used to leave his juice glass in his bed­room each night so that by the end of the week there was lit­er­ally at least seven glasses or mugs in his bed­room. I would ask and ask and ask……………. but even­tu­ally I gave up and just brought them down­stairs.

There were so many times I helped him when I should have let him han­dle the sit­u­a­tion or accept the con­se­quences.

When I look back and ask myself why, I find that, besides want­ing to avoid con­fronta­tion, I also had a strong desire to pro­tect him and see him suc­ceed, even when the suc­cess was par­tially unearned. I was look­ing at the sit­u­a­tion self­ishly as well as short term.

A con­trol­ling par­ent can inter­fere with the goal of rais­ing a respon­si­ble child.  Our chil­dren will be more respon­si­ble if we, as par­ents, choose to some­times take a more pas­sive role. Of course we need to be pro­tec­tive but often we take the idea of pro­tec­tion too far and then com­plain when our chil­dren are irre­spon­si­ble.

Our chil­dren begin life help­less and par­ents must do every­thing for their tiny infant, baby and then tod­dler. But we often grow accus­tomed to this role and fail to see when we can do less. The real­iza­tion that we are doing too much may go unde­tected for a period of time. That may be long enough for your child to get the mes­sage that they can do less and mom and dad will take care of it.  In my opin­ion, it is best to keep the con­cept of teach­ing respon­si­bil­ity as a pri­or­i­tized goal. Test the water often and see just how much your child can do for him­self. Think about how we teach a child to walk or ride a bike or swim. We give sup­port in grad­u­ated stages until voila. They do it them­selves.

The same is true for other activ­i­ties that have mul­ti­ple steps such as get­ting ready for school, clean­ing the room and prepar­ing for bed­time.

We all learn through prac­tice as well as from mis­takes. When my son attempted to pour milk in his cereal bowl and spilled all over him­self, the floor as well as under the fridge, I did not stop him from try­ing again. I less­ened the poten­tial mess by giv­ing him a small amount to pour. I guided his tiny hand so his aim was bet­ter. I assisted him while encour­ag­ing more and more inde­pen­dence. That was easy to do. Many par­ents have dif­fi­culty allow­ing their chil­dren to make mis­takes and would rather do more for them until they can do it well them­selves. I work with many par­ents who still wipe their child’s bot­tom and pick up their toys even though they are clearly old enough to do it them­selves. When I ask why, the answer is always, because I like it to be done right.  These par­ents are deliv­er­ing a mes­sage that is destruc­tive. Give your child the gift of inde­pen­dence, con­fi­dence and respon­si­bil­ity by allow­ing them to be as inde­pen­dent as pos­si­ble.

Natural Consequences

A nat­ural con­se­quence occurs nat­u­rally. Touching a hot stove will pro­vide an imme­di­ate con­se­quence. That is guar­an­teed. Of course we don’t want to let our chil­dren get hurt phys­i­cally.  However, there are many sit­u­a­tions or choices chil­dren make that result in sad feel­ings rather than phys­i­cal injury. In those sit­u­a­tions, it may be wise to allow nat­ural con­se­quences to unfold.

Allowing nat­ural con­se­quences to occur in every­day life is far from auto­matic. It is actu­ally more nat­ural for a par­ent to pro­tect their child rather than see them suf­fer. There are many times we should allow life to teach our child impor­tant lessons.

For more infor­ma­tion about nat­ural con­se­quences please read my book:
Strengthen Your Parenting Muscle avail­able on Amazon and Kindle

Danger Signs

How do you know when you are doing too much for your child?

  1. You become anx­ious when your child has a dead­line or becomes frus­trated.
  2. Your first response to your child’s prob­lem or com­plaint is to give advice or take over.
  3. You find it unbear­able to see your child strug­gle.
  4. You fre­quently do some­thing your­self instead of wait­ing for your child to do it.
  5. You feel the need to micro­man­age their eat­ing, appear­ance, or social life.
  6. You tend to over­step your bound­aries as a par­ent and dis­re­spect their pri­vacy.

Pulling Back

If enabling your child has become a pat­tern it will be more dif­fi­cult to make a change but it is well worth the effort.

Begin with a dis­cus­sion about what you have learned and why it is impor­tant to change how you engage in your child’s life. Adding points such as respect for their abil­ity and con­fi­dence that they can han­dle any sit­u­a­tions with­out your help will be appre­ci­ated and help to focus on what is gained rather than what they might inter­pret as a loss of assis­tance. Reassure them that you are not desert­ing them but teach­ing them to be more self reliant so that as they grow up they will be able to be more inde­pen­dent. There are many oppor­tu­ni­ties and priv­i­leges that respon­si­ble and inde­pen­dent chil­dren have that their coun­ter­parts do not.

When they come to you for help, lis­ten rather than advise and ask them what THEY think they could do. Give them time to prob­lem solve and don’t expect an answer in five sec­onds or even five min­utes. They are used to you fix­ing things and there will be an adjust­ment time. Bite your tongue and do less. Tell them: “I know you can do this. I have faith that you’ll fig­ure it out.”

Sharon Youngman is a par­ent edu­ca­tor liv­ing and work­ing in Manhattan. She is the author of Strengthen Your Parenting Muscle and the founder of Good Parents, GREAT Kids.

Contact Sharon for a free con­sul­ta­tion:

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Calm Down

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Teaching Self-Calming Skills

by Jessica Minahan on January 30, 2013
 
The fol­low­ing was an arti­cle directed to teach­ers to help chil­dren calm down. This is a noble goal but con­sid­er­ing all that teach­ers must do these days it is highly unlikely that a teacher can use this tech­niques as often as it may be needed.
Parents, how­ever, could cer­tainly ben­e­fit from this approach. I espe­cially like the ther­mome­ter strat­egy. Becoming more self aware is a highly effec­tive tool when prac­ticed at times of calm rather than dur­ing an inci­dent. 
The fol­low­ing was taken directly from the arti­cle so you can pick and choose what makes sense to you.

You need to calm down.” This is some­thing I hear a lot in my work as a behav­ior spe­cial­ist when a stu­dent starts to get agitated—answering rudely, refus­ing to work, mak­ing insult­ing com­ments or whin­ing. A teacher might tell a child to “go sit in the bean­bag chair and calm down” or sim­ply “relax.”

The prob­lem is, many stu­dents don’t know how to calm down. This is espe­cially true for chil­dren who dis­play chronic agi­ta­tion or defi­ance.

File 1947When a child behaves inap­pro­pri­ately, I find that it’s almost always due to an under­de­vel­oped skill. Recognizing and teach­ing under­de­vel­oped skills is one of the key strate­gies Nancy Rappaport and I talk about in our book, The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students.

All chil­dren will ben­e­fit from learn­ing self-calm­ing skills, but for some chil­dren, learn­ing this skill is so essen­tial to their suc­cess at school that it’s impor­tant that class­room teach­ers focus on it as well as spe­cial­ists, such as coun­selors and spe­cial edu­ca­tors.

What’s the best way to teach self-calm­ing skills to an indi­vid­ual child in your class­room? Here are three sim­ple steps to take:

1. Teach the student to identify emotions.

Students who exhibit anger in the class­room are often described as “going from 0-to-60 in a split sec­ond.” In real­ity, how­ever, the student’s emo­tions prob­a­bly grew more grad­u­ally from calm to frus­trated to anger, but the teacher (and the child) didn’t notice the build-up.

Teaching a stu­dent to iden­tify this esca­la­tion is essen­tial if she’s to learn how to catch her­self on the way up. A help­ful tool to use is an emo­tional ther­mome­ter. When the child is calm, share the graphic with her, explain­ing how emo­tions often grow in inten­sity from calm to frus­trated to angry. Give the child a copy of the ther­mome­ter and ask her to pay atten­tion to where she is on it at dif­fer­ent times of the day over the course of a few weeks, check­ing in with the child as needed to dis­cuss what she is notic­ing.

Another way to teach a stu­dent to iden­tify emo­tions is to do a “body check.” When you notice signs of frus­tra­tion first begin­ning, label it for the child and explain how you know: “Your shoul­ders are hunched and your fists are clenched, so I can see you’re frus­trated right now.” Over time, the child will learn to iden­tify when she’s frus­trated with­out your cues.

2. Teach the student self-calming strategies.

Once a stu­dent can iden­tify when he’s frus­trated or angry, he can then make use of a calm­ing strat­egy. However, find­ing the right strat­egy for a spe­cific stu­dent is like find­ing the per­fect pair of shoes—you may have to try a few out before find­ing the right fit.

Also, stu­dents who are just learn­ing to iden­tify their feel­ings of frus­tra­tion may need fre­quent reminders to uti­lize a par­tic­u­lar strat­egy. The calm­ing strate­gies I have found to be most use­ful with ele­men­tary school stu­dents include:

  • Reading a book
  • Deep breath­ing
  • Listening to music
  • Drawing
  • Yoga stretches
3. Practice with the student.

Like any skill, prac­tice is key. Each day, at a time when the stu­dent is calm, ask her to role play what she looks/acts like when she is frus­trated or anx­ious. Then ask her to prac­tice her self-calm­ing strate­gies.

To make the prac­tice most effec­tive, have the stu­dent do the role-play in the area of the class­room she’s most likely to go when she’s actu­ally upset, such as the read­ing area or bean­bag chair. Then when she goes there in a moment of frus­tra­tion, she’ll be more able to use the cor­rect strat­egy in that space.

Some stu­dents will learn these skills quickly, and oth­ers will need con­tin­ued sup­port over time. Self-calm­ing train­ing takes only a few min­utes a day but it’s impor­tant that you focus on it daily with a child until you see the child begin­ning to take hold of the tech­niques. Not only can it pre­vent chal­leng­ing behav­ior moments in the future, but it is an essen­tial skill for suc­cess at school, at home and in social set­tings.

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Show Faith and Increase Independence

 
Another gem from Jane Nelson.…my hero 🙂 
 

One of the biggest mis­takes some par­ents and teach­ers make, when they decide to do Positive Discipline, is becom­ing too per­mis­sive because they don’t want to be puni­tive. Some mis­tak­enly believe they are being kind when they res­cue their chil­dren, and pro­tect them from all dis­ap­point­ment. This is not being kind; it is being per­mis­sive. Being kind means to be respect­ful of the child and of your­self. It is not respect­ful to pam­per chil­dren. It is not respect­ful to res­cue them from every dis­ap­point­ment so they don’t have the oppor­tu­nity to develop their dis­ap­point­ment mus­cles. It is respect­ful to val­i­date their feel­ings, “I can see that you are dis­ap­pointed (or angry, or upset, etc.).” Then it is respect­ful to have faith in chil­dren that they can sur­vive dis­ap­point­ment and develop a sense of capa­bil­ity in the process.

Have faith in chil­dren to han­dle their own prob­lems. (Offer sup­port through val­i­dat­ing feel­ings or giv­ing a hug, but not by res­cu­ing or fix­ing.)

TAKE TIME FOR TRAINING

It is also impor­tant to take time for train­ing. Adults often expect chil­dren to accom­plish tasks for which there has not been ade­quate train­ing. This is more typ­i­cal in homes than in schools. Parents may expect chil­dren to clean their rooms, but never teach them how. Children go into their messy rooms and feel over­whelmed. It may be help­ful to clean the room with your chil­dren until they have more train­ing. This is also a great way to cre­ate con­nec­tion.

CURIOSITY QUESTIONS

Be sure and use “Curiosity Questions.” (We will be cov­er­ing curios­ity ques­tions in a later blog post.) Instead of telling chil­dren what to do, ask curios­ity ques­tions. “Where do your dirty clothes go?” “What do we need to do before we can vac­uum the floor?” Children are great prob­lem solvers when we give them a chance.

PATIENCE

Patience is prob­a­bly the most dif­fi­cult part of show­ing faith in our chil­dren. It is almost always more expe­di­ent to solve prob­lems for our chil­dren. This is par­tic­u­larly true when we are under time pres­sures.   In these cases we can take time later to explore solu­tions for the future. Ask your chil­dren exploratory ques­tions. “What hap­pened?” “What caused it to hap­pen?” “What did you learn?” “What can you do in the future?”

When time pres­sures are not an issue, prac­tice hav­ing patience with your chil­dren. Allow them to prob­lem solve on their own. Allow them to feel a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ment. Allow them to work through their feel­ings. They will need these skills in the future.

It may help to remem­ber that who your chil­dren are today, is not who they will be for­ever. Someday they will be nag­ging their own chil­dren to put their dishes in the sink and to clean their rooms.  Remember that exam­ple is the best teacher. Model what you want for your chil­dren, take time for train­ing so they learn skills, have reg­u­lar fam­ily meet­ings, and then have lots of faith in them to become the best they can be.

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How We Encourage Arguing

 

How We Encourage Arguing

Ever see par­ents going back and forth with their chil­dren about the impor­tance of some­thing?

The par­ent comes up with all sorts of log­i­cal rea­sons why the child should do some­thing and the child responds with their own rea­sons why they don’t want to. Very often and clearly depend­ing on the age, the child’s ONLY rea­son is:

 I     DON’T     WANT TO

which is usu­ally accom­pa­nied by a well refined whine and those hard to resist sad eyes.

The other day a par­ent was telling me how their child wasn’t so into being tutored any­more, yet her tutor­ing was super impor­tant as she almost had to repeat a grade and was just reach­ing grade level per­for­mance. Giving up the tutor­ing was not an option.  The mom, try­ing to change her daughter’s mind, kept on point­ing out the impor­tance of read­ing and how much she will love get­ting lost in books. The daugh­ter had her own set of argu­ments which included……I don’t want to. The dance con­tin­ued. The mom, when asked if she were will­ing to stop the ses­sions, said no. I explained that by respond­ing to her daughter’s protests she was indi­cat­ing a will­ing­ness to change her mind.  I advised her to stop engag­ing in the argu­ment and repeat clearly and firmly, I love you but the answer is no.

I, as an adult had a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence when I was forced to stop my own argu­ing and coop­er­ate. We were stand­ing in line for a play at Delacourte Theater in Central Park. The tick­ets are free and the rules are clear. Get in line, friends may not join you, do not leave the park. It is not unusual for peo­ple to begin lin­ing up for these won­der­ful free per­for­mances as early as 5 AM.

My friend and I got in line at 6:35 AM and were fairly close to the front. At 9:30 AM we took a walk in the park, leav­ing our chairs and bags to be watched by the peo­ple in front of us. Upon our return we were told that the employ­ees guard­ing the line were ask­ing where we were. About an hour later they returned and ques­tioned us about our dis­ap­pear­ance. When I finally asked what they were get­ting at, I was told that we would have to move to the end of what was now a very long line. As ridicu­lous as this was, they made it clear that this ver­dict was not chang­ing. Once I real­ized that my fate was sealed I did what they asked. Was I angry? Sure. But I stopped argu­ing. The deliv­ery of their deci­sion, the tone of their voice and their body lan­guage, sent the mes­sage that noth­ing I could say would change their mind. By the way, we sucked up our indig­na­tion, were relieved that we still got tick­ets and saw an incred­i­ble show later that evening.

Discussing pros and cons with your chil­dren are part of the daily con­ver­sa­tions that teach val­ues and encour­age inde­pen­dence. They are valu­able. But when a par­ent makes a deci­sion the child will ben­e­fit from the clar­ity that no amount of argu­ing is going to change the sit­u­a­tion. The child can move on with respect for their parent’s author­ity. Once the pout­ing if over a more pleas­ant con­ver­sa­tion can be enjoyed.

 

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