The Ultimate Solution for Kids Who Test Your Limits

Small beings love to test limits. They will push and push and push until they get what they want!

It can be exhausting and leads many big beings to throw up their hands in frustration and say, “OK, fine!” 

I mean, how many times do you need to say, “Ice cream is not for breakfast,”  before your small being accepts that eggs are an acceptable breakfast food? The thought of having this conversation one more time makes you want to pull your hair out.

The most frustrating thing is that in the afternoon, when you ask what food is good for breakfast she can list them all: eggs, cereal, bacon, pancakes. She can list the not good for break foods also: candy, chocolate, cookies. So why in the morning does she keep asking you for candy?!?

Quite simply it's because she’s the small being in the equation. Your role is to provide the structure that proves that the lists of good and bad breakfast foods hold true. All she is thinking about is what tastes good now, so you need to think about her long-term energy. 

Simply, you need to be the adult.

It’s the reality and it’s not fun. It is your role, as a big being, to show your small one that the world actually does work how you said it does by holding concepts in place. You need to make it stand true for your small being that chocolate really is not eaten for breakfast but eggs are.

The secret to making this easier on you is actually taken out your small being's book –- repetition! As you know nobody does repetition better than a small being – “Mom, can I? Mom, can I? Mom, can I?” – except now you do!

Pick one explanation and use it over and over and over again. “Eggs are for breakfast because they will keep you strong all day.” When you are asked 10 or 15 or 20 more times you repeat that same sentence ... 10 to 15 to 20 more times.

The repetitive line will help you stay calm and it will help you focus on your actions and not words. It will also bore your small being as you are not entertaining their questions.

Stop trying to convince your small being when all you need to do is show them. (Click to Tweet) Using a repetitive line can show them what the boundaries are and that they stay firm.

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is a one-line explanation you can use to answer a question your small being asks often?

Teachers: What is one way students have tested your boundaries? How have you dealt with it?


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