In my book ‘Parenting Made Easy – How To Raise Happy Children’ in Chapter 9 I write about kids who argue back.
One simple technique I teach is to change your language when kids challenge you with a … heavy sigh, eyebrows raised, pouting, moaning, groaning, hair tossing or “It’s not fair…” “They’re (sister/brother) not doing it, why are you picking on me…?” type response.
It will take quite a bit of practice but try saying..
“Maybe … and”
Instead of “Maybe …. but”
This is a powerful strategy as it defuses the conflict by agreeing with your child, “and” is a less confrontational word so it minimises you getting into more arguments.
It also allows you to acknowledge what your child has said but not be influenced by it so you can all to move on.
If you use a matter of fact voice and remember what follows the “and” is what you want them to do…. for example:
“Maybe Sophie wasn’t listening and I still need you to tidy your toys, do your homework, lay the table …..”
“Maybe you were….. and I still need you to find your school shoes, get your lunch bag, or brush your hair……”
“Maybe they do and in our house we have these rules so time for bed, I want you home at this time, it’s time for you to end your computer game”
This is an amazingly simple but brilliant technique so give it a go and see enjoy happens….
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