Back in the old days if a Mom's kids were driving her crazy with bickering and fighting she'd say something like, "Wait until your father gets home!" Warning, lecturing, yelling, and spanking might be the "go to" tools in her parenting tool box. After all, in an emergency, you use the tools you have. But what if there were some other tools you could add to your parenting tool box? What if they were "power tools?"
Love and Logic Magic When Kids Make You Speechless, Dr. Charles Fay and Jim Fay call this "The Misbehavior Cycle." Children who believe they are so bad that adults cannot help them behave, can develop a negative self-concept. ("I must be pretty bad!) Showing your kids you can handle them calmly without anger, lectures, threats, or warnings will become an amazing gift in their life over the long haul!
So, the next technique for handling summer arguing? Use the magic phrase, "I know."
Never try to convince your kids that your decisions are fair. Simply respond, "I know."
If they respond with more arguing?
Child: "You are so mean!" Respond: "I know."
Child: "Mary's mom said she could go." Respond: " I know.
Child: "I am mad at you!" Respond: " I know.
Child: "You don't love me!" Respond: " I know. It probably seems that way."
Child: " I hate I know!" Respond: " I know.
Love and Logic calls this "Going brain dead." You don't engage your brain in anything more than one repetitive response. The child needs to do all the thinking. Your child may get frustrated but they will learn manipulation does not work and you get to stay calm, and use a soft voice.
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