Do you ever have trouble with your kids saying ‘No’, ‘I don’t have to’ or ‘Why’, or choose to do the exact opposite of what you have asked, or not even respond at all – even ignoring you or your request?

How would you like your young child or adolescent answer you with a response or desired behaviour in the first 20 seconds? The KEY to having what you want lies in the POWER OF SHARING CONTROL. When we demand control we lose it, when we share it we GAIN control. HOW???

As parent’s we can safely give it away by using CHOICES, that fit our value system.

  • Do you want the orange or the apple?
  • Do you want the ice-cream in a cone or a cup?
  • Do you want to mow the lawn by 4.00pm or 6.00pm?
  • Do you want to pick up your toys now or in 5 mins?
  • Do you want to leave the park now or in 15 mins?
  • Do you want to put your PJ’s on first or brush your teeth first?
  • Would you like to like to feed the dog when you get up or after breakfast?

As Parents, we need to:

  • Give Choices that fit our value system that you would be incredibly happy with.
  • Give choices before there is resistance, when things are going well. Use choices 90% of the time.
  • Keep it simple, give 2 choices.
  • If they don’t choose, you choose.
  • Giving choices reduces resistance as the child is focused on the choices given.
  • The child shares the control and is more willing to respond with more desirable behaviour.

Camp and Washing Story

My daughter had camp over 3 days and came home exhausted. I mentioned to my daughter that I could help her bring her luggage and laundry in now or she could do it later?

The following morning the laundry was brought in from the car, and I said I am happy for her to have screen time after the 3 loads of washing was done and put on the line. To assist her, I kindly stated that I would be willing to help her with putting the washing out until 2.00pm. I enjoyed some moments with her while reminding myself to close my mouth and leave her with the consequence. 2 O’clock came and went, still 3 baskets of wet washing on the laundry floor.

My sisters and I were seeing Beauty and the Beast with my daughter that night and I explained to my daughter that I am happy to take you out in the evening when everything is done. We went shopping and had great chats. We bought dinner and went to the movies. After the movies, she asked where are we going, and I replied with warm sincere empathy, oh honey I am taking you home. I bet You can imagine the long tense reaction and disputes. I followed through with, I am happy to take kids out who complete their chores. Her comments of you are the worst mother, how could you do this, if you think I am putting that washing out, you are wrong. The car ride home was so empowering as I said, “I love you too much to argue.” Would you like me to walk you in the house or do you want to go in alone? Would you like me to walk you up- stairs or do you want to go up by yourself? Followed by I love you and we enjoyed some great moments, have a great sleep, see you in the morning.

The following day we were having our last surf for the season in Phillip Island. As we were preparing I gently said to my daughter feel free to keep whatever is put on the line before we go. Within 10 mins with some protest, all the washing was on the line.

Giving choices and stating my boundaries protected our connection whilst my daughter experienced the weight of her poor choices.

This week, and over the Christmas holiday period, think of 2 areas that you can experiment with to see and feel the difference in sharing control by using choices.

Have a wonderful blessed family Christmas,

From all of us here at Teaching Kids For Life.