When children can ask loudly and persistently for the things they want and can protest hard and loud for the things they don’t, we start experiencing some exhausting struggles.
“I want candy right now!”
“I don’t want to leave right now!”
“I want the phone right now!”
“I don’t want to eat vegetables!”
“I want to go out right now!”
“I don’t want to go to school!”
“I want to play in water right now!
“I don’t want to brush my teeth!”
These battles are so many that we may find ourselves saying no and participating in these battles every step of the way or we may find ourselves caving in and losing these battles many times.
Soon we can anticipate them. Can we also prepare for some of them?
If we already know scenarios where we need to absolutely stick with ‘no’, scenarios where we can say ‘yes’ under certain circumstances and scenarios where we can agree immediately.
For Example, Saying an absolute ‘no’ when they ask for the phone, letting them have a piece of that candy after a full meal only and saying ‘yes’ in the first instance when they ask to play with you (may it be for a short while if you are too tired or on a schedule) It can be a different scenario for each parent and each child.
This clarity saves us from the internal battles of “should I just give up this one time? It will at least bring peace to me right now!” while another voice within is saying “this is not the right thing to do.” It also helps us feel more in control and less helpless, it also sets good boundaries with our children.
Make a list of the things which are an absolute ‘no’.
Make a list of the things which are ‘conditional yes’ and identify the conditions for yourself. Make a list of the things which can be an ‘easy yes’.