Q: I feel like I have to repeat myself over and over again before I can get my child to DO what I am asking! There has to be a better solution! HELP!
A: Repetition Doesn’t Necessarily Engender Response...
One of the biggest complaints we hear from kids is that their parents repeat themselves…over and over and over...
“Clean your room.”
“I told you to clean your room.”
“How many times do I have to tell you to clean your room?”
And one of the biggest complaints we hear from parents is that you have to repeat yourselves…over and over and over. This scenario doesn’t seem to be working for anyone.
I think so often, as a parent, you’re waiting for your child to say, “Okay, Mom, I’ll get right on that. Thanks for the tip.” We can go ahead and let the cat out of the bag: It’s not going to happen.
We talk a lot about consistency and consequences with parents. In fact, Intentional Parenting has a whole chapter devoted to this idea. But here’s what we believe in a nutshell.
Don’t repeat yourself.
Ask your child to do something and follow that up with a choice.
“I’d like you to have your room cleaned up by 5:00 Friday. You can either clean it by then or not go to the birthday party that night.”
“I’d like for you to take out the trash. You can either do that by bedtime or give me your i______ (fill in the blank with the appropriate gadget) until you do.
We believe you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll get the desired result. And you’ll save a lot of breath, energy, and frustration on both of your parts in the process.