In this day of two-working-parent families...time constraints make it easier for us to automatically respond with a "no" when our children ask for little things. Solution: In an article published in BETTER FAMILIES, Dr. Kay Kuzma offers some practical approaches we can use. She suggests we can say "yes" on many occasions, and it's more effective because it also teaches valuable lessons.
For example, your child might ask, "Am I going to get to watch my favorite television show tonight?" You have a chance to say, "Yes, as soon as you have dried the dishes and put them away," or "Yes, as soon as you have called Sally and apologized for your behavior this afternoon."
This approach changes you in the child's eyes from being a person who wants to deny him or her a pleasure to a parent who is interested in helping the child perform in a better, more mature way.
Your teenager might ask to use the car to run a few errands. You can say, "Yes, as soon as you wash it and if you will stop by the service station and fill it with gas on your way home." This way you're teaching your child responsibility.
Dr. Kuzma also points out that when a child asks, "May I have dessert?" you can say, "Yes, as soon as you have finished your salad or vegetables." This way you are attaching a small reward to a fulfilled responsibility. The child ends up with the temporary pleasure and some long-term benefits. Practice Dr. Kuzma's suggestions, and you will have taken a giant step toward raising a positive, courteous, responsible child.
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