Mom was getting so frustrated with her two small children at bath time. They were always making a mess and splashing so much water out of the bathtub that she'd spend as much time cleaning up as she did bathing her kids. She was going to bed exhausted and drained.
After learning how to Set Loving Limits she decided to experiment.
The next night as her two young ones got into the tub she let them know they could play as long as they didn't splash so much that water got out of the tub. Then she waited. She didn't tell them what what going to happen, she just let them know there was a limit.
Well, sure enough, about 10 minutes later all their horsing around was leading to some serious water outside the tub. Mom and Dad (Mom had enlisted Dad's support and he was happy to assist!) each grabbed a kid and pulled them out of the water and into a towel. Mom patiently and calmly said: "This is so sad. We let kids play in the bath who don't create a big mess outside the tub." They quickly whisked the kids to their rooms where they explained that they didn't have time to read books that night since they had to go clean up the bathroom mess. They helped them get dressed and put them to bed with a kiss.
Were the kids happy? Did they complain and beg for more tub time and books? Absolutely. However, Mom and Dad remembered not to lecture or give in, they used EMPATHY over and over. "Yes, I know how you love bath time. It is sad. Maybe tomorrow night." "I know...." "I know..." "And what did I say?"
The next night as the kids climbed into the tub Mom and Dad had to hold back their giggles as the kids splashed more lightly than they ever had before. Yeah! Progress!
It did go better but every now and then there was too much splashing. Mom and Dad always calmly went back to their loving limit. The differernce was that the kids didn't complain any more since they knew it was their poor behavior that caused them to lose a privilege, not Mom and Dad being "mean".