“I don’t wanna”
“That’s not fair”
“I’m not doing that”
Any of these happen lately? 1. It’s okay, and 2. You’re not alone!! Back-talking happens, but it doesn’t have to. AND I’m a firm believer that once you know how to navigate it, it should never be allowed. I’m guessing you also would like for it to never happen, too, so let’s get to the how-to, shall we?
*To be honest, the advice I’m giving you is probably worth a lot of money. I’m cringing as I give it away for free but here we are.
SET THE SCENE:
It’s time to clean up after playing inside with legos. Your child has some cool things built and is very content with his/her playing.
You come in and say: “okay kiddo it’s time to clean up and get ready for dinner!”
Child says: “I don’t want to. I want to keep playing.”
– – now everybody freeze while we break this down & work through it – –
What you might want to say: “No. I said it’s time to come for dinner. Stop now and clean up”
What this does:
- Aggravates your child
- Shuts down your child
- Squashes feelings
What you want it to do: motivate them to get their bum moving & clean up for dinner. So let’s talk about how to do that!
Instead, say this:
I hear you don’t want to clean up. It’s okay to feel frustrated and annoyed. It’s not okay to ignore instructions. You have a choice: you can clean up in 3 minutes or in 2 minutes. Which choice would you like to make?
What this does:
- Acknowledges and names your child’s feelings
- Tells them that it’s okay to have feelings
- Acknowledges the boundary of respecting you & your instructions
- Gives them a choice (aka a feeling of contribution & autonomy) where you like both options
- Choices are GAME CHANGERS when it comes to kids. It allows them to feel like they have some say in what’s happening and helps them shift their feelings from being stuck in annoyance to feeling empowered to make a choice.
RECAP – WORDS TO USE:
I hear you
It’s okay to feel ___. (insert feeling)
It’s not okay to___. (insert boundary)
You have a choice: you can do it in X minutes or Z minutes. (list 2 choices that both get you where you need your child and give your kid options)
USE THIS WHEN:
your child doesn’t want to transition away from an activity.
And there you have it!
Interested in more? Make sure you check out my course Kids on Clean Up!
DM me your topic requests!