Saturday, November 3, 2012

Obedience: Why Do You Have to Tell Them Five Times?

I think every one of us who has children can identify with this. Asking our kids to do something over and over and over again and eventually getting frustrated, yelling, kids yelling and the job not getting done or taking hours to get done. Yes this was pretty much my day today. Saturday is always our chore day, the day we get ready for Sunday – which is a day of rest and worship for us in our home. My kids know it’s coming every week but I can understand the frustration of being a little burnt out from school and activities during the week and it never fails they always fight back. I found this great article on the Aha! Blog and LOVE it! I think these are definitely some ideas I’m going to be trying to implement in my home. So if you have some of these same frustrations in your home, I hope this helps.

1. They don't share our priorities. No child understands why a bath seems so essential to you.  And every child has something else he's in the middle of doing, that seems more important to him.  It may not look important to you, but a child's play is his work -- that's how young humans learn.  That's a good thing--you want a child who's self-motivated, rather than expecting you to entertain or engage him. 

Solution: First, connect with your child by noticing what he's working on and acknowledging his priorities: "Wow, look at this elaborate train track you're building! Can you show me how it works?" Then, give him a warning that you're about to overrule his agenda with your own: "Sweetie, it's bath time.  Do you want to take your bath now, or in five minutes? Ok, five minutes with no fuss?  Ok, that's a deal -- let's shake on it!"

2. We've trained them not to pay attention until we yell and threaten. Your child is no dummy.  She knows she can milk extra time before bath if she just ignores you.  That doesn't make her bad, just human.  So if your child is like the eight year old who ignored five requests, it means you've trained her that you aren't serious until you yell.

Solution: Don't give directives from across the room.  Move in close to your child and touch her.  Connect by commenting on what she's doing.  Then say"Excuse me, Sweetie....I need to tell you something," and wait until she looks you in the eye.  If she's staring at a screen, warn her that you're going to pause the game or the TV.  Don't give your directive until you make eye contact, so she knows you're serious. Don't give more than one warning, and stick to the time limit you've agreed on.  Follow through on every limit. If you don't, you're training her not to take your requests seriously.

To read the full article – it’s really good so I suggest everyone already reading this should click HERE.


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