4. “Don’t bring it up again.”
Child: “I want these shoes.”
Mother: “No, those cost too much.”
Child: “But I don’t like those.”
Mother: “You’re getting the shoes in the cart and that’s final. Don’t bring it up again.”
Child: “I need them!”
Mother: “You brought it up again. There went your dessert for tonight.”
Yes, you’re going to get more crying with that response, but remember: getting your child to understand you mean business is a marathon, not a sprint.
5. “The decision has been made. If you ask again there will be a consequence.”
Child: “Can I watch the iPad?”
Mother: “No, you know you’re not allowed having technology at the table.”
Child: “I won’t get food on it.”
Mother: “The decision has been made. If you ask again there will be a consequence.”
Child: “But I promise!”
Mother: “I told you not to bring it up again. No iPad for the rest of the day.”
Prepare for a few tantrums until your child learns they’re not going to get anywhere. This is part of their normal testing stage.
Your child will eventually realize nothing changes your mind. This is how you will earn your child’s respect and set up a relationship where your child accepts your decisions the first time.
Don’t forget: their best friend, Timeout, is only a few short steps away.
A Begging Success Story
After years of using these phrases with my 4-year-old, I’m reaping the benefits every day with no begging, no tears, and no fighting back.
Here’s the conversation I had with my daughter, Charlotte, while writing this article.
Charlotte: “Can I have a cookie?”
Me: “Yes, you may have one.”
Charlotte: “Can I have three?”
Me: “This conversation is over.”
Charlotte: “OK, I’ll just break it in half so I can have two.”
Sure, I see some passive-aggressiveness in that last comment, but I still won the battle. She happily ate her one cookie and I happily continued typing at my computer.
You can have these blissful conversations, too. Laminate a card or start memorizing, but trust me, they’re almost better than chocolate.
This piece originally appeared at Heather Steiger’s Blog, published with permission.