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Mom is Part of a Vicious Arguing Cycle
A mom shared with me how her daughter argues about everything and it drives her nuts. It could be about taking a shower, brushing her teeth, or doing her homework. It turns out that the mom had fallen into the “parental explanation” negative loop that kept the argument going.
“Why?” Doesn’t Often Require an Answer
Instead of responding to the why question, I taught her how to instead keep restating the directive. Again, this approach is for when your child is not part of the decision making process.
Here is how she responded that stopped the arguing.
Mom: It’s time for a shower.
Daughter: Why do I have to take a shower now?
Mom: Shower time.
Daughter: But I don’t want to take a shower.
Mom: You can read after you take a shower.
Daughter: I took one last night.
Daughter: Oh. All right.
Shorten Your Directive as You Repeat It
The key ingredient in your response is to keep repeating the directive in various short forms. Don’t give reasons that try to convince your child to agree with you. If you do, then you are debating and this is where the problem lies. Make sure to also give children plenty of opportunities to discuss problems and practice negotiating with you when appropriate.
©2014 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.