This is the final installment in my series on “Kids gone sideways.” Click here for last week’s about handling your child’s temper tantrums (and why tantrums are developmentally necessary in the first place.)
Has this ever happened to you?
“Yesterday evening there was one typical example. We had just arrived home, were unbuckling and gathering our items so we could exit the car, and I reminded her to bring her backpack. She suddenly sounded offended and said “I *KNOW* Mom!”
I felt annoyed that she was so rude, started questioning myself about whether I should have reminded her and then mad that I’m letting this tiny human make me question something I know is perfectly acceptable!
I’m unsure what to say that won’t escalate into a power struggle and so I say nothing immediately. As she grabbed her backpack I said “ you need to speak respectfully to me.” She ignored me and kept moving into the house.
I fear that this way of relating to each other will become a well-worn path, where she’s disrespectful, I call her on it, and she shrugs me off.
I’m feeling the importance of looking for something I can do that she won’t shrug off.
But at the same time I know she needs to internalize her own reasons to be respectful; my expectations and my consequences won’t be enough for her.”
From these frustrated beginnings, this mom has mastered (and taught others in the community) a new ninja tactic!
Called “Pre-framing,” it involves calmly and concisely telling your child exactly what their behavior is going to get them.
(Our ninja parent discovered the tactic from Bonnie and Thomas Liotta, founders of championsforlife.com. While I’ve often used this ninja tactic, I didn’t even really think of it as a ninja tactic at all! Huge thanks to Bonnie and Thomas for crystallizing pre-framing!)
It’s communicating expectations, plain and simple.
It’s saying “this behavior your exhibiting right now? That will get you zero of what you want.”
And continuing with “if you behaved a little better, maybe by [insert behavior that would be a little better], you could have a little of what you want…”
And finishing with “if you [insert behavior that would be most acceptable and wonderful to you] then you can have the maximum amount of what you want.”
So for example this mom could have said “When you’re rude like this, I’m afraid you won’t be able to have ANY screen time.”
She might have continued with “If you had said “you don’t have to remind me! I never forget my backpack.” then you could have a little bit of screen time…”
And she could have finished with “If you say “thanks mom” in a kind voice, and treat me with respect, then you can have your full half-hour of screen time.”
That’s it – that’s the tactic! If you try it, let me know how it goes! (And I hope you try it… It is amazing and really works!)
Thanks for reading!
Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/in the Magic Words for Parents/in NPC…
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
What’s up on the podcast this week:
We talk about what kids need (and what they do not need) with educational psychologist Dr. Rob Reiher and his Live Above the Noise podcast cohost, Wayne Yercha:
This week’s Magic Words for Parents:
Practical beliefs about parenting.
What’s up in the Ninja Parenting Community:
When your four-year-old doesn’t want to write… or share… Plus how to deal with plane and hotel travel with little kids, all in yesterday’s Live Members-Only Call.
(If you’re not a member yet, but want to become one, click here.)
PS – If you’re enjoying this Parenting Newsletter, click here so you can sign up to receive it in your inbox, or forward it to a friend who needs a parenting boost today.