As a director, you set up structure to guide your children to fulfill their responsibilities when they don’t want to. Even after problem solving together, they may ignore you or resist your reminders.
This is the time to use an effective director strategy.
The after-then or work-before-play strategy is one of my favorites because it is respectful, teaches children about the law of cause and effect, and is successful with all ages.
Chores, homework, music practicing, and bedtime routines are common activities that children need “gentle guiding” to complete. This approach reflects the way life works. After we work hard, we treat ourselves to a rest period or fun activity, such as dinner or a movie. Kids may want to watch TV, read, or play a computer game for their play activity.
Children learn through practice to do “work” before having fun. They also learn to think of others’ needs before their own. Both are valuable skills for a successful life that are learned through years of practice.
The after-then, or when-then, statement assumes your child will do what you want her to do. Correct word order is crucial. The first part states her responsibilities to you or the family. The second part states the positive result of following through.
Your statement is, “After you do Y (my needs or your responsibilities), then you will get X (your needs or desires).” This approach provides a positive, rather than rebellious, way to meet her need for power.
Be careful not to slip into the punishment–reward trap, which can easily happen if you feel out of control and are trying to regain control.
Read more in my upcoming book: Creating Successful Families
Recommended Parenting Book: The Whole Brain Child
copyright 2014 Cynthia Klein, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, 650.679.8138, Certified Parenting Educator