Who's the Boss: Adult vs. Kid Decisions

Who’s truly running the show in your house?

The balance of power in your household can quickly shift without you realizing it’s leaving your grasp.

It starts with small decisions. Parents will tell me they let their small being decide on how things go because, “Well, I didn’t mind” or “I thought it was a good idea.”

It’s okay to occasionally follow along with your small being’s idea! This will empower them and let them know their voice is important.

But what happens when you do mind or you don’t think it’s a good idea? If your small being is used to making suggestions that you always agree to, big problem behavior will result when you disagree. (Tweet)

This lopsided arrangement can happen quickly!

Here’s a great example: You’re working with your small being to not call out when the teachers are talking to the class. Each morning you remind her of this goal and she repeats, “I’m going to keep my voice off when the teacher talks to everyone.“

Today she comes home and announces, “I did it!!” Confused, you say, “WOW, what did you do?” She says, “I kept my voice off at the right times today!!” You’re so excited! She starts to dance and then says, “I want chocolate ice cream pop cause I did so good.” That sounds totally reasonable, so you say, “Of course, me too.” You both have ice cream pops and it’s a great celebration.

Three weeks later, she’s still minding her talking at school and demanding ice cream after school. You’re starting to get frustrated with having to give her ice cream and annoyed with her controlling behavior.

At this point, you might be wondering: but Dr. Marcie, what else can I do?

You can decide how to celebrate from the beginning. When you create a goal, talk with your small being about how you’re going to celebrate. You decide what will happen.

So, that first day, when your small being said, “I did great at school!” answer with, “Amazing, lets celebrate with a treat!”

The next day, she would not expect ice cream because you had created the offer. If she does, then you can say, “Nope, we’ll celebrate with ten minutes later bedtime.” Since you set the stage from the beginning this will not be that difficult.

It’s important that you’re in charge. When you consistently make decisions your small being will expect you to be the decision-making authority.

This does mean that you need to anticipate some of their needs and offer them ahead of time, but that foresight is definitely worth it. You'll be glad you did it in the long run!

Insight Into Action!

Say no to one of your small being’s requests today. How did it go?


Feedback? Thoughts? Comments? Leave 'um below or email me at: Info@BehaviorAndBeyond.net.

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