Thursday, April 15, 2010

Asking vs. Telling

This is a simple principle that can make a world of difference...
and it's all about presentation.

The way you present things to your child determines how they are going to react.
In each situation you are either asking them to do something, or telling them.

It is really important that you get it right the first time, and don't switch between the two.

* Rule #1: If you don't care, ask
Anytime you ask your child to do something, you are giving them the option to say 'no'
For example: "Do you want to wear your coat?"

* Rule #2: If you do care, tell
If 'no' isn't an option, don't ask.
For example: "Please put your coat on."

* Rule #3: Respect their answer
If you give your child the option, and they tell you 'no', don't make them do it.
You would simply be punishing them for your inability to present something correctly.
Giving them the option, then taking it away, is completely disrepectful to your child.
Say the correct thing from the beginning, and mean what you say.

* Rule #4: Don't abuse your privileges
Treat your child with respect.
Don't turn them into your personal slave by not providing options just to get them to do everything and anything you want.

Ask them to do things that aren't required: "Can you throw this away for me?"
If they do it, thank and congratulate them for being a big helper.
If they say no, respect their answer.  Don't hold it above their head and act disappointed.

Tell them to do things that are required: "You need to brush your teeth now."
Remember to say thank you.

I hope you find a way to incorporate these principles into your parenting.  It has made a huge difference for me personally, and I have definitely seen the improvement in my kids behavior.

Personally, I have notced a HUGE difference in Cannon's reaction when using these rules.
When he first started saying no when I asked him to do things, I think he felt unsure of himself - not knowing if I was going to be upset or not.
I tried to respond with a care-free attitude, saying something like "okay, I'll do it".

Since he has discovered that he actually has a choice, he is much more willing to help out.
Most of the time he will literally thank me for handing him Lincolns dirty diaper after he agrees to throw it away.
I believe strongly that giving your child respect makes their confidence grow, and I have found that to work wonders when using this simple rule.

Happy Parenting!

No comments:

Post a Comment