Stubborn Kids

Stubborn Kids

Dear Ronnie,

Have you ever noticed how strong-willed kids love to be told what to do? Yeah, they love it, because it gives them a chance to get stubborn and to show us who’s really the boss! All that’s required to achieve their goal is to do the opposite of what we want, do it extremely slowly, or develop a severe case of temporary hearing loss.

Here’s a little experiment that might make your life a little easier with stubborn kids:

Put a smile on your face and replace telling with asking.

Instead of saying, “Pick up your toys,” experiment with putting a smile on your face and asking, “What needs to be put away here?”

Instead of telling, “You need to take out the trash before we leave,” experiment with a friendly, “What do you need to do before we can leave?”

Instead of, “Quit jumping on the couch,” experiment with asking, “What did I say about being on the couch?”

Why do questions up the odds for cooperation? First, they stimulate thinking. The more pondering kids do, the less resistant they become. Questions also communicate, “You are so bright! You can figure this out!” I don’t know about you, but I’m always better behaved around those wonderful people who make me feel this way.

For more ideas on staying sane around stubborn kids, listen to our CD, “Avoiding Power-Struggles with Kids.”

Have a happy and safe New Year!
Dr. Charles Fay

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