In the parent training world this is the million dollar question (although unfortunately for my bank balance not literally).
It’s the number one thing I’m asked.
How do I say no without starting World War 3?
In all reality it’s easy.
You just say it and stick to it.
Now, I know you’re thinking – of course it’s easy for you.
You just swoop in once a week and tell parent’s to do things then swan off again without dealing with any of the consequences.
OK, while that is partially true – do you think I’d still be in business almost 3 years later if that was the case?
What I’m saying is true.
Saying no is super easy.
The trick is sticking to it.
Everyone having the same rules (and not grandma/grandpa or nanny/grandad having their own special rules…) and everyone being on the ball – every single time.
No warnings just immediate consequences.
Now, in order to avoid World War 3 you’ll have to do a bit of ground work.
This isn’t hard.
It just takes time, dedication and consistency (seriously if you work with us this word will be the one you hear at least 4 times a week because it really is important).
While you need to start right back from the beginning again and build a trusting relationship with your child before you can say no and avoid the battle.
It won’t take you years to get where you want to be you can do it in a matter of weeks.
Do whatever you can to show up every day – even when the little monster inside of them is firmly in control, do something, anything with them, to show you love them.
You could paint, play cowboys and Indians, be a princess, play I-Spy or watch them playing the latest computer game.
It really doesn’t matter what you do with them each day as long as they have your undivided attention for 10-15 minutes a day, every day – no matter what.
When they know you’ll always come back and you’ll always love them regardless of how they’ve behaved then and only then will they trust you.
Once they trust you, saying no is easy.
Now, I do need to just pre-warn you.
In the beginning you’re probably going to be seriously bored and are desperately trying to speed up time so you’re 10-15 mins goes in a flash.
But, then week 5 kicks in and you’ve rediscovered your inner child.
You’ll be tempted to extend the ‘playtime’ just to make sure you slay the dragon, overtake the bunker or meet prince charming… but you really can’t.
Remember, that word consistency?
If you start with 10 minutes then you’ll need to stick with 10 minutes.
Now, of course you can schedule in some alien take down time separate to their daily parent-child mini playtime. I would never deny anyone the opportunity to get dressed up in their favourite star-trek outfit.
That’s completely different.
Your 10-15 minutes daily parent-child mini playtime has a strict time limit.
Cutting the game off when everyone has fun is your opportunity to say no and have them follow your instructions.
When they get used to you cutting the games off when they’re just getting good they’ll listen to you at other times of the day.
This is how you get to say no without causing World War 3.
So, who’s up for a round of snap?
Have a great time parenting & catch up soon – Katie.
p.s. tired of going it alone and feeling like a parenting failure every time your kids go nuts? Fancy the opportunity of having real practical advice on tap from a leading child development psychologist? Head on over to our positive parent community & find out how to change your child's behaviour today -