Could you please take out the trash? .... NO!
Can you feed the dog while I'm making dinner?.... NO!
For the 18th time put away your shoes! ... NO!
Get off electronics! .... NO!
We want to avoid setting up ourselves for NO but can't always remember how to do that. Here are some hints:
HINT #1 - Use Choices
Would you like to take out the trash before dinner or before you start your homework?
Notice that "no" isn't one of the options?
Would you like to feed the dog while I make dinner or you make dinner while I feed the dog?
HINT #2 - Use Loving Limits
We let kids come to the dinner table who've put their shoes away.
We allow kids to use electronics who've finished their homework (or whatever other limit you've set).
We allow kids to use electronics who haven't been fighting with their siblings.
I drive kids to school who've brushed their teeth.
HINT #3 - Still Getting NO?
Sometimes even when we give choices or set a loving limit our kids still refuse to do what we ask. It's at this point where you should DELAY THE CONSEQUENCES.
In a really nice, sweet empathetic voice say, "No problem, I'll feed the dog. It really drains my energy though. I'll have to do SOMETHING about it." You don't know what you're going to do but you get to decide what that is at a later time, not right now. Just let it slide and think of a reasonable consequence when you're ready.
What might that be?
CHILD - "Mom, I'm all done with my homework, where is the iPad? I want to play my game now."
YOU - "This is so sad, I know how much you love playing after you do your homework. The iPad has been put away since my energy was too drained after you didn't get off electronics yesterday. Sorry. Would you like some ideas about how my energy might be put back?"
CHILD - "Mom, we need to go meet John at the Mall. He's waiting for us to shop for new basketball shoes."
YOU - "Wow, this is so sad. I really don't have the energy to drive to get new basketball shoes. I used up all my energy taking out the trash and putting away your other shoes for you. Maybe some other time after you've put some energy back in me. There's a list on the fridge, feel free to pick one and let me know when you're done. "