Three Magic Words (Just in Time for the Holidays)
I love that!
#TruthBomb And, if you just say “Because I said so” every time your kid asks “why,” you’re just being annoying.
Another reason, of course, is that we don’t really say “no” to begin with.
Here’s what I mean:
Kid: “Mom, can I go to the movies with Jim Bob Friday night?”
Mom: “I don’t think so. We’ve got a busy weekend. I’m exhausted from this week and I’m not sure about the soccer schedule. Also, who’s going to drive you and back. I certainly am not taking you to the fancy theater across town. And movies are expensive, we’ve spent too much this month already. Why don’t you just rent a movie or play Fortnite here?”
So, that’s not really saying “no.” That’s saying a lot of (picture your favorite Charlie Brown movie now) “Wah wah wah wah waaaaaaah.”
I teach leadership parenting and one of the methods for being a leadership mom is to say what you mean and mean what you say (and you don’t have to say it mean).
If this mom does not know if her kid can go to the movies or not, she can say “I’ll have to get back to you” and be done.
After you’ve had time to think about everything that involves the movie, consulting your spouse/partner, look at the calendar, etc. you’ll be in a much better position to give an answer and stick to it.
But that won’t keep my child from asking over and over again!
Oh, I hear you. You know what else?
If I end up saying “no” later, my kid will just beg and beg anyway!
Yup. I hear you there, too.
Two things before I give you the parenting tip that will save you a lot of hassle.
- If your child “wears you down” a lot, it’s likely that you give in. And the problem is that the longer it takes you to give in, the better the kid gets at wearing you down. Think of this as the superbug problem. If you give in after your kid asks 10 times, your kid thinks “Okay, I just have to ask 11 times before she breaks.” If you break the next time after 14 times, your kid will ask 15 times and so on. By saying “I’ll have to get back to you on that” you are giving yourself time to think about what YOU want first. Then you can give an answer, when you’re ready, that YOU can live with (and not change).
- When we have a habit of saying “no” to our children as a knee-jerk reaction to anything they ask, we are likely to reverse ourselves and therefore, our children don’t know when we mean “no” and when we don’t. I remember doing this…I was saying “no” to a snack, glass of water, going outside, etc. without thinking about it. Then I’d have to say “Sorry. Yes. Go play outside.” UGH. Get curious, are you saying “no” out of habit?
Okay, now for your three magic words. Ready?
Asked and answered.
When your child asks a second time, you can say “Asked and answered.” And you can say it with a smile on your face because you are confident in your answer.
I recommend walking away or returning to reading your book, cooking dinner, whatever right after you say it to avoid more push back. Yes, your children may follow you. Use the “broken record method” by repeating what you said in the same tone and volume until they finally get bored with you and move on.
This makes being a mom easier!
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Honestly, being a mom should be easier.
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