Here’s one from Dr. Jane Nelsen, author of “Positive Discipline.” I interviewed Nelsen recently and what she told me has changed 48% of my parenting. No, make that 56%.
Maybe you’ve gotten backed into a corner with your strong-willed 11 year old and he won’t get ready for school on time. Or your three-year-old daughter has just painted the kitchen chair with her paint set. What do you do?
You could guilt-trip, berate, say, “God, I told you so many times not to do that!” or “Why did you do that?” (Oh yeah, that always works, asking your child the “Why did you do that?” question.)
Or you could let your children figure out that problem themselves.
Just for kicks, try this response: “Hmmm…this is a problem. Can you think of a solution?”
Eleven year old will get his act together (or not, and then get in trouble for being late, and the next day, or the day after, be on time). Three year old will get out a sponge and wipe, wipe, wipe and be proud of her solution. (She uses that word frequently now.)
I don’t know why, entirely, but it works. Just about every time. It’s like a miracle drug or something. Thank you, Jane.