Family Matters | Leana Matodes
Saying No, Without Saying No!
"You are often not the cause but could be the solution"
"I said NO!",
These are just a few of the phrases I am sure you have used today to either get your child to stop what they are doing, listen to you, stop fighting with you or a sibling, or move from one activity to the next?
Do you mostly get a negative response or it ends up in a power struggle or attitude from your child, especially when you say "NO!"?
How can we word these statements in a different way, to not just get their cooperation, but to also teach them about shared problem solving; making plans together as a team and; turning these messy moments into magnificent teaching moments instead of … FIGHTING!
Food for thought: Defiance often stems from a child feeling overloaded, wanting to feel secure and in control and to protect themselves …. What could be the reasons for your child’s behaviour?
Have you tried these steps?
Agree with your child or acknowledge their need (this keeps them calmer and does not put them in the "defensive" mode).
Some examples of Acknowledgment statements:
Some examples of Empathise statements:
Instead of putting their minds on the "negative" try putting their minds and focus on the "positive" (make the positive sound way more fun than the negative).
Praise their positive actions so you boost that little ego that was so ready and strong to "attack" and "fight" with you by complimenting that "better" behaviour you would rather want.
Kids mostly try to control or fight when they are feeling out-of-control so by focusing on the positive, you are giving them a bit of that.
Step 4: (Still not listening?)
Redirect in a few different ways. Offer two choices (this can often also break down the difficult or unwanted task into more manageable steps) of what they can do!
Acknowledge first. Some examples:
It looks like you want to throw something... let’s throw the beanbags or let’s go throw the balls outside.
It looks like you want to jump! Let’s jump on the trampoline or let’s jump on the pillows.
It looks like you want to hit something because you are angry... let’s go hit the beanbag or punch the pillows.
It looks like you want to eat something now... How about your apple first and then the biscuit or I know you want the chocolate but how about we eat the biscuit or the carrot stick?
Redirect to change the behaviour completely. For example:
Prepare them with anticipation. For example:
In a minute, we are going to get our shoes to go to school/in 10 seconds we are going to switch the TV off/we can play iPad today for ten minutes so let’s set the timer and after that we can play wrestling!
One can also set the scene by discussing these examples:
Still stuck??? Contact us to discuss our successful 7-Step Behaviour Plan.
Great read: The Challenging Child by Stanley Greenspan