How often do you yell from the kitchen that it’s time to turn off the t.v. or come to dinner, or do their homework. It takes too much effort to actually walk into the room where our kids are and look them in the eye and get confirmation.
No wonder we get frustrated when we don’t get the response we want. When we feel ignored. it’s often because we are using poor communication skills. The extra time it takes to effectively set limits is well worth it in comparison to the bad feelings that ensue when we don’t.
Here is a 7 step limit setting plan that works. I’ve had private clients use it with amazing results. I was coaching a dad in his home when I suggested he try the following system to get his son to turn off the computer when time was up. We were both wondering if his 9 year old would obey or if the regular noncompliance and complaining would happen. I held my breath as i watched the dad in action. His son actually said, OK dad. The little brother wanted to keep playing but the 9 year-old said, “No, i told dad I would get off the computer.” We were in shock .
Here are the 7 steps. Try it and see cooperation improve in your family.
7 Steps for Setting Time Limits with Respect and Authority
Step 1: Get eye contact – Crucial – Don’t be ignored.
Step 2: State the limit clearly
Step 3: Get acknowledgement from the child that you were heard.
Step 4: Get agreement from the child.
Step 5: Give a 10 minute warning to help your child prepare for stopping the activity.
Step 6: Enforce the limit.
Step 7: Thank your child for cooperating
Let us know how this works. Remember to stay calm and respectful at all times. Otherwise, if kids feel hurt then they will resist cooperation. Doesn’t everyone?
Cynthia Klein, bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, builds adult-child cooperation. Parent education talks, webinars, private coaching, columnist for the parenting magazine Parenting on the Peninsula.