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You know you love your children, but sometimes you can’t remember why?

You shout, nag, bribe more than you would like?

You ask one, two, three, four, fives times and then do it yourself?

If that’s you, this post if for you!

I went to a parenting class a little while ago at Calmer Easier Happier Parenting and it felt good. I am not on my own and there is help out there.

The topic was: ‘Never Ask Twice’ in 6 steps (from toddlers to teens):

  1. Stop what you are doing and show them you respect them by being 100% with them.
  2. Stay in front of them and wait for them to stop what they are doing and look at you. If they don’t look up, don’t call their name (apparently we call their name only when we have something bad to say) but engage with them, find something nice to say about what they are doing.
  3. Tell them what you want them to do. Say it once while they are looking at you. Often they will do it because they have heard you, they have listened to you and you are watching them, but if they don’t, then step 4 will help.
  4. Ask your children what they are supposed to do, what you have just said. Stay calm, don’t nag! Once they have said it, they are more likely to do it as they have no excuse. If they don’t, step 5.
  5. Tell them they can finish what they are doing and tell you afterwards. Stay and wait – it shows you are in charge (yes you have other things to do but sometimes, it is worth staying a few more minutes). If you stay, it also helps them remember to do it. If they want something from you, tell them you will do it when they have done what you have asked them to do. They will end up doing it.
  6. When they finally do what you have asked them to do, descriptively praise ie the room is tidy, they are listening or reflectively listen, ie you are probably really annoyed…

It’s actually great advice. I have tried of course and it made me feel a lot more in control, which is what I needed. My problem is consistency, I do it one day and forget the next. I need to go back to a parenting class to get back in control. Just writing it reminds me though so I think I will go back to that post regularly.

And a few more advice:

  • If you are rushed in the morning and don’t have time for the 6 steps, then get up earlier!
  • If you get frustrated too quickly, get more sleep (if you don’t have a little one not sleeping at night!).
  • If they are arguing, don’t argue back. Wait for a pause and then descriptively praise that they are not arguing. It would make me mad if somebody was doing that to me but maybe it works on young kids.

Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting offers free introductory talks once or twice a month on a specific topic. They are held in West Hampstead. You can also buy DVD (at the introductory talk or online). Ruth, who did the talk, was definitely very good. She had answers for all the mums and dads who had questions. Next talk is Never ask twice on March 6th. Booking is essential. They also do Weekly Parenting classes and family coaching if required (for a fee).

Me & The Boys

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