In a recent survey parents were asked what they find the most frustrating about their children. I in an overwhelming response they stated, it was the fact that they have to tell their children to do the simplest tasks over and over again before they are done, a battle they face every day.
What if I told you there are five steps you can take to ensure that your child’s does what you ask the first time you ask… Yes, you heard me right, the first time you ask. Follow these steps and you will save money on your headache medicine and achieve harmony between you and your children.
Before we go into the steps that need to be taken is important to understand why this is occurring. The answer may surprise you. It may be a power struggle between you and your child. The longer your child can refuse to perform a task you have asked the more powerful they feel. The most effective way to end this power struggle is to refuse to engage in it. Giving your child clear and direct expectations and consequences is a great way to resolve this issue.
To end the struggle of having to ask over and over again, it may require the task of training your child. Let me explain, if your child is used to you repeating a request again and again, he or she knows that they don’t have to really do it until the fifth and final request is made. You need to change the dynamic. This will not be easy, but it is something that you and your child will appreciate over time.
Have a short, direct conversation with your child about the problem.
Be sure you know what the consequence will be.
Give a time frame to allow for transition. Example: “The trash needs to be taken out before 4 o’clock. That means you have 20 minutes to get it done.” This is a really important piece of the puzzle. You’re connecting your consequences to the behavior you want to improve, and you are clearly letting your child know what they earn when they complete the task.
In the beginning, give a reminder – once. This is important because you are teaching your child a new behavior, this won’t happen automatically.
Be prepared for failure. They will continue to test you. Stay strong, stick to the plan and you and your child will succeed.