Monday, April 19, 2010

Parenting: Three alternatives to "No"

Whenever I feel unmotivated to blog for a long time, it usually "reader demand" that gets me to come back.

I recently received an e-mail that said, among other things:

I follow your blog and LOVE reading your posts and really like your outlook on parenting.

Well, thank you Niki.

Because of you, I am now back, and this post is just for you.

I recently heard good things about Barbara Coloroso's book Kids Are Worth It! and I got a copy from the library ILL (which means I didn't get to keep it for too long. God forbid I should actually buy it, you know.)

I didn't finish it in time, but there was a lot I liked. As you may know, I have never liked the idea of "traditional punishment" (for example, I never ever gave a detention when I worked in the public schools), but I often have a hard time finding a suitable alternative. This book seemed to suit my style -- or attempted style, anyway.

Here are Barbara Coloroso's
Three Alternatives to No.

1) "Yes, later."
I've been using this a lot. I even told the kids about it! I like this better than either barking, "Not now!" or "Not until whatever!" at them. She makes a sort of funny point about this too: If for some reason you change your mind or "give in" after two minutes, you still didn't lie or waffle on them. It is later. Two minutes later.

2) "Give a minute."
I looove this one.

I don't know about you, but kids often ask me something while I'm on the phone, someone(s) is screaming about something, and/or I'm trying to get food on the table. I have a tendency to simply snap, "NO!" because I can't deal with it, and frankly I just want them to shut up. I like this a lot better.

She points out that if a kid insists they need to know now, you should say, "If you need an answer right now, it's No. Otherwise, give me a minute to think about it.

3) "Convince me."
I haven't used this one yet. She says it's more useful with older kids. I do like the idea of putting the burden back on the kids.

Okay, now I'm back in the groove. More posts to come this week ...

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