Want you child to be a good listener?  Say “yes” more often!!!

But what’s that you say?  Your child will be spoiled?? Logic would say that this is an accurate statement, envision a parent constantly giving in to their child, saying yes to their every whim…”You want a candy bar right before dinner?  Yes!” or “You want this toy that has been flaunted at the checkout line at the grocery store: Yes!” or even “You want to watch more tv before bedtime? Yes!”

As parents, the pressure for us to do and say the right thing at all times is all too real.  Therefore in an attempt to be a “good” parent, you say and do what your feel is the “right” thing to say and do.

However, when it comes to helping a child be a good listener the better thing to do is say what you mean and mean what you say.  In other words, teach your child that you as the parent will follow through with what you say so that consequences are effective.  When you say no, you mean no and will not change your mind.

So let’s revisit the scenarios above:

– Your child wants a candy bar right before dinner, however, you had to work late and are now late preparing dinner for the company that is arriving in 30 minutes.  You of course tell your child that he/she cannot have a candy bar before dinner. But…they are persistent, keep asking, bug you, cry, scream, etc. You don’t have the time or energy to deal with it so you let your child  have the candy bar.

-You stopped at the grocery store quickly on your way to dropping of your child to daycare to pick up something for the party at work.  You’re in a hurry. You tell your child no as you stand in the line, but as you get closer to the checkout, your child’s demands and behavior escalate.  You can’t be late for work and can’t deal with the situation right then…so you buy the toy for your child.

-You have had an extremely long day, are getting sick and can barely hold your head up.  Your child is insisting, crying and escalating, in order to keep your sanity, you just let your child watch TV.

So, I’m not saying, let your child willy nilly just get everything they want all the time.  What I’m saying is, before you tell your child no, make sure you are able to follow through.  If you can’t, then cut yourself some slack and say yes. Teach your child that when you say no, every time you will uphold your decision.  Kids are gamblers, if you gave in once, they’re going to gamble that you may just say yes again if they keep trying. However, if every time you say no you follow through, they may still try, but more often, when you say no, they’ll listen.