As parents, we want to teach our children how to do things, when to do them, why they made a mistake, how to fix it and, and, and!  ?.    Of course, we think we are helping and doing what we are supposed to do as parents, but what usually ends up happening is that our children tune us out (like we probably did to our parents).   While certainly there are times when we should have these lengthier conversations, sometimes using just one word is best.

Let’s take the example of my children getting distracted from doing their chores; rather than using many words and reminders and lectures, I oftentimes say to them in a friendly but firm voice, “Chores” or “Now” and point.  Most of the time it really works to get them moving again in the right direction.

This tool works because it lessens the opportunity for being tuned out, it provides them with less to argue against, thus reducing the power struggle, it is clear and concise and leaves no room for interpretation and, it can literally be more easily understood by a growing brain.

So, next time you’re feeling frustrated with the TV not being turned off, the chores not getting done or any number of things that your child is or is not doing, try just using one friendly and firm word and see what happens.

Hope it helps!

–          Paige

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