"I'm over you."
"Do the rubbish now or your iPad will join your DS and laptop in the cupboard!"
"Maddie, hurry up and get ready for school!"
"Why haven't you done your teeth?
Where's your other sock?
You make me so angry!
What's wrong with you?"
"Jacinta, we've already discussed it. I'm not talking about it anymore!"
"No, you can't go to Katie's today."
"Stop going on and on about it!"
"If you keep arguing I'll do something you'll regret!"
"Raeph, all I want you to do is tidy your bedroom."
"Mate, if you want to fight over this then watch me win, because I will."
"I'll show you how it's done!
QUESTION: Does going on and on and 'having to have the last say' successfully steer our children's behaviour in the direction we long for?
ANSWER: No. 'Having to have the last say'
Nonetheless, every so often it is natural for all kids to make poor choices or be disobedient, naughty or defiant. What then? What's the best approach?
Recipe rescue: so you never have to have 'the last say'
There's a much better way than defending our position by exchanging insults with our kids, arguing, ranting, or lecturing them about how they should care or be more responsible. By the time something has gone wrong all kids, even littlies, know why things went badly. Besides, most can tell you what would have been a better way to deal with it. In this moment of tension our children don't hear our wisdom or frustration. What they hear is mum or dad being in another bad mood, nagging and over-reacting yet again - blah, blah, blah.... At this point, already accustomed to our tell-off, their self-protection mechanism locks them into 'parent deaf' mode.
So, please, spare your moralizing, lecturing and anger; it won't help. The truth is that teaching our kids how to be safe, social and responsible is a 20 year project, and it demands our consistency.
From now on when your child makes a poor choice, link what you do to the ideas that follow. If you do, you'll never end up screaming with the kids to 'have the last say' again because you'll guarantee a healthier connection between their poor choice and a sensible outcome....