What This Is Like from a Parent’s Perspective

 

Mom: There are only a few things I ask my kids to do. BUT when I ask them to do something, I expect that they’ll do it when I ask. I’m so tired of having to nag them four or five times before they’ll listen!

I know this is stuff they know HOW to do. I feel like they  just “don’t feel like it” so they don’t do what I ask until I start to yell at them!  And then it just goes downhill from there.

 

What This Is Like From a Child’s Perspective

 

Jamison: I really don’t like it when I’m in the middle of watching something and Mom asks me to stop. Especially when it’s at a good part. It’s like she doesn’t even care about what I was doing at all.

So if she asks me when I’m right in the middle of something important, I know I can just wait until that part is over. She always asks me a few times to do something times before she gets mad. By that time, what I wanted to see is usually over anyway.

 

 

How It Usually Goes

When We Ask Kids To Do Something

 

Scenario: It’s Saturday afternoon and Jamison has been watching videos for about 2 hours. His mother, who is in the kitchen cleaning, calls into the family room that it’s time to turn off what he’s watching. Jamison ignores her.

 

Mom (notices Jamison is still watching): Jamison! I told you to stop watching.

Jamison (calls over his shoulder): OK, mom!

Mom (a couple of minutes later, notices Jamison is still watching): Jamison! Turn it off!

Jamison: Yup, I am!

Mom (keeps cleaning but then looks up and sees that Jamison is still watching): Jamison! Are you kidding? I’ve asked you 3 times to stop watching!

Jamison: I’m finishing right now!

Mom (annoyed that he is not getting up and turning it off): Jamison! That’s it! Turn it off or or no ipad for the rest of the weekend!

Jamison (gets up and starts yelling at his mom): No way! That’s so unfair!

Mom: What’s unfair is that you didn’t listen when I asked! There are consequences when that happens, Jamison! You have to learn.

Jamison: I was in the middle of something, Mom! And you didn’t even care!

Mom: You can watch later! And I don’t like how you’re talking to me!

Jamison: Why is OK for you to be rude but I can’t…?

The two continue arguing.

 

 

How It Could Go

When We Ask Kids To Do Something

 

Scenario: It’s Saturday afternoon and Jamison has been watching videos for about 2 hours. His mother, who is in the kitchen cleaning, calls into the family room that it’s time to turn off what he’s watching. Jamison ignores her.

 

Mom (notices Jamison is still watching. She stops cleaning for a moment and walks over to where Jamison is watching). Jamison, I asked you to stop watching.

 

CALM

Jamison’s mom is frustrated that Jamison is still watching when she asked him to turn his tablet off.

She also reminds herself she needs to show him that she means what she says, and that losing her cool will not show him that she is in charge and in control.

 

Jamison (doesn’t make any  move to stop).

Mom (looks at what Jameson is watching). Ah, you’re watching that show about the boys who save the planet! I’d love to hear what’s happening on that show. Tell me about it when you turn it off. 

 

CONNECT

Jamison’s mom wants to tell him that his show doesn’t matter as much as doing what he’s supposed to do.

She also reminds herself that if she wants him to respect her, she needs to respect him and understand that he may struggle to stop doing something, especially when he is engaged. 

 

Jamison (looks up at her): Aw, Mom!

Mom: Jamison, it is time to get off now. But I would love to hear what was happening when you watched today. 

 

CORRECT

Jamison’s mom knows that even when Jamison resists, she needs enforce her boundary early rather than giving him more chances simply because she doesn’t want to deal with his meltdown.

She will also insist that he stop playing even if it pushes him deeper into Yuck. She knows that when he releases his Yuck, he will act positively again.

 

Jamison (turns off the show). Well see, this guy, he kept trying to… (Jamison turns off the show as he continues talking to his mom).

 

 

How to Make In-the-Moment Parenting Work

 

Though Jamison’s mom used Calm, Connect, Correct, the “proactive deposits” discussed in the Parenting by Deposit Roadmap will make all of the difference in how this situation plays out in the moment.

If you want to make sure that your child knows you mean what you say (so they listen to you more), remember: 

 

Depositing into CALM

You will not be able to stay calm if

a.) your own biological or emotional “needs accounts” are low (if you feel like no one respects YOU)

b.) you have the expectation that your children will immediately jump to do what you said, even if you don’t follow through or help them disengage from an engaging task.

When you make sure your own needs are met and you set realistic expectations PROACTIVELY, you are more likely to be able to stay calm.

See Step 1 of the Parenting by Deposit Roadmap for help meeting your needs and setting expectations proactively so you can stay calm.

 

Depositing into CONNECT

You will be able to connect if

a.) you respect that all behavior has a reason and

b.) you understand those reasons (in a case like this, children will not do what you ask unless they know that you mean what you say, treat them with respect, and give them tools to be successful).

When you become comfortable with the reasons behind behavior PROACTIVELY, you will be able to connect more effectively.

See Step 2 of the Parenting by Deposit Roadmap to learn the reasons for children’s behavior so you can connect more effectively.

 

Depositing into CORRECT

You will be able to correct behavior by offering a tool if

a.) You have demonstrated consistently in the past that you mean what you say the FIRST time you ask them to do something

b.) You have made enough deposits into your kids’ emotional needs that setting a boundary doesn’t put them immediately into Yuck.

When you demonstrate that you mean what you say and when you make deposits into your kids’ emotional needs PROACTIVELY, you  will be able to correct behavior more effectively.

See Step 3 of the Parenting by Deposit Roadmap  to learn more about improving your influence so you can correct behavior.