Four Steps to Responsibility
Give the child a task she can handle.
Hope that the child “blows” it.
Let equal parts of empathy and consequence do the teaching.
Give the same task again.
Turning Bad Decisions into Wisdom.
There are many different ways to make our children carry the lion’s share of the thinking.
Many different ways to force decision-making.
Many unique and creative ways to express genuine sadness for children who make mistakes.
Say things with genuine compassion and understanding. Hold child’s hand, or place you hand on their shoulder. This greatly increases the effectiveness of what you have said.
It’s not fair!
My friends don’t have to do that
I don’t care
All the other kids get to
You’re just using that love and logic stuff again
Where’s that nice mother I used to have
I hate you
You don’t love me
Everybody else gets to do it
I’m not doing it, and you can’t make me
Why do I have to
I’m the only one who ever has to
But I don’t need my coat
But I don’t like this kind of food
It’s not my fault. The teacher just doesn’t like me
You’re so old-fashioned
Don’t try to pull that love and logic stuff on me
We don’t have homework. The teacher lets us do it all at school
I really need those $125.00 running shoes
If you love me, you’d let me. . .
You never. . . or You always. . .
No words but the “rolling eyes” syndrome
I don’t have to put up with this. I’m going to live with Dad
That’s a possibility
I’m afraid so
Thanks for noticing. I’m trying to be a better parent.
Gone forever, I’m afraid.
Would you rather I went back to yelling and screaming
What was my old way? I’ve forgotten
That’s sad. But I still love you.
Do you think you’ll hate me forever, or do you think you’ll get over it?
I guess I’m kind of hard to love at times.
Do you think you’ll still hate me at dinner time?
What do you think I think about that
Don’t worry about it now.
There’s no hurry. Just have it done before your next meal
That could be today, tomorrow, or Saturday. It’s really up to you.
Take your time. I only expect it done by the end of the day.
If you don’t understand why after you finish, I’ll be glad to explain.
I bet it feels that way
Won’t it be exciting to find out
All the more for the rest of us
Maybe you’ll like what we have for the next meal better
That’s up to you
It must feel awful to get grades like that. Is there any way I can help
I know how bad grades hurt, but we’ll love you regardless of the number of years it takes you to get through that grade.
Thanks for noticing
I bet that’s true
Old-fashioned parents must be a drag for you
Be sure to smile when you say that
Antiques are rare and priceless
Oh really. What kind of stuff do you want me to pull on you
Nice try. Bring me a note from your teacher
I’m sure your report card will tell the story on that. Good luck
Oh, honey. Do I look like I believe that
Do I look like I just fell off the Stupid mom truck
I might have a hard time believing that if I said it myself
Go for it! I’ll donate $35.00. When you earn the rest, you’ll have them. I can’t wait to see you wearing them.
I bet it looks that way. Tell me more.
The best response to “eye rolling” is no response, but if you must say something try this:
What are the eyes saying today, Pal?
I love you wherever you live
Never discount the child’s feelings with flippant remarks. Say what you need to say with compassion and understanding. Adults attitude is crucial to success.