Imagine that you finally get some time to yourself. Perhaps you get to read that book that’s been sitting on your shelf or take that extra long bubble bath. Then imagine someone comes into your space ordering you to stop what you are doing to do what THEY need/want you to do.
How likely are you to stop in that moment and how do you feel?
My guess is:
1.) Not likely
2.) Your feelings may range from annoyance to rage!
Guess what? That same likelihood and those feelings also apply to our kids and yet we seem to have no problem rushing in, barking orders, making demands and/or expecting our kids to get onto OUR agendas and OUR timeframes!
The truth is, kids have agendas of their own and deserve the same respect we also hope to receive.
SO, the next time your child is engaged in an activity and you need them to move onto something else, begin by ACKNOWLEDGING the fun they’re having or what they’re in the middle of (with some fantasy and choices thrown in) before making your request.
For example, “Look how much fun you are having playing with your toys! I bet you would play ALL DAY if you could! You might even stay up all night! I know you’re having fun AND it’s time for dinner. I could really use your help…Would you like to put out the napkins or the silverware?”
Remember, kids listen AFTER they feel listened to and the best way to gain respect (and cooperation) is to model what respect looks and feels like!
Wishing you all the best,