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No more ultimatums

for the kids

Send: 2019-10-12

Have you ever been in the situation where your child is not behaving and you ended up saying:

If you don't stop doing X then Y will happen!

They stop for a moment, and then it continues.

So you repeat the warning, I told you you have to stop doing X or Y!, and again and again.

So what happens here is that your child becomes confused about the rules, and this results in even more "unwanted" behavior. And even if it does work, it won't change behavior, as it only works because it is a threat.

Being consistent

I grew up in a farmhouse and we had horses and dogs, and the only way to properly train them was being consistent. Now I am not saying that I see my kids as animals (all though they can act like crazy animals) 😆 But I do believe one of the secrets to raising kids is being consistent (and mutual respect).

What I mean by that is that there needs to be certain rules, these rules should be clear and fair. I.e. I expect more from our older kids than from our younger kids. Now unlike with the animals I also believe these rules should be created, discussed, and agreed upon together. Because, I say so doesn't create buy-in.

Then we should also discuss the consequences of breaking the rules. Again together to create buy-in. If you help deciding what happens when you break a rule you are much more likely to follow these rules and also think of them as fair.

And finally, when a rule is broken, which will happen, I promise you, the consequences should happen immediately.

So no more warnings like; Stop doing that, you know what we agreed! Let it play out and when needed enforce the rules.

One thing I like is when a rule gets broken is the sit together with him/her and talk about it. And mostly from a "why did this happen" point of view. What can we, or they, do so it doesn't happen again? How do you feel about this? Also, I try to focus as much as possible only at their own behavior. It is so easy to look at what someone else did wrong, but that is never constructive.
And yeah, this was easier to write down then to implement. We live in a 79m2 house with 7 people (5 kids), I can promise you that we have our fair share of confrontations. But by doing this there is a clear structure, and by explainning the reasons and asking their opinions you do create mutual respect.

And I think it is never wrong to tell your kids how you feel about their behavior, that way they learn that they can talk about their feelings as well.

Happy unpacking!

-Mona & Mark

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