We have heard that children need limits, well so do adults. We let ourselves get taken advantage of when we do not set boundries with people. So how do we do that?
There is a wonderful simple Enforceable statement we can utter to literally get others to change. Often we want others to change but we are always told that we can’t change others, we can only change ourselves. Well here is how we can get others to change….by uttering these kinds of statements:
to an agitated adult: “I will listen to you when your voice is calm”. This gets the person to change their tone should they really want to communicate with you or gets them to reflect on their approach and adjust it in the future.
to a whining child: ” I will listen to you when you speak with a sweet voice”. It can be very entertaining to see a child stop whining upon hearing this statement and instantly change their voice.
We can control what we pay attention to and what we stand up near to, to listen, so we can decide that we will not pay attention to whining or not stay around someone who is arguing. We can decide to move away and simply say “I will be happy to listen to you when you speak calmly, or when you speak to me with respect”. Try it, it works!
We can set limits to the behaviour we will tolerate from children in a car or at the dinner table or anywhere.
“You are welcome to play with your balls in the front yard or the back yard, not inside, you choose which part of the yard.”
“You are welcome to stay and eat at the table with us as long as you keep your fingers out of others plates and your feet to yourself. Otherwise you can eat alone in the kitchen.”
“Children who eat their dinner get desert”
“I’ll continue driving when there is no fighting in the back seat” ( parent pulls over to roadside or into a parking lot and waits.
“I’ll do the things I do for you around here when I feel treated with respect” (to an older child).
“I’ll check homework that is legible”
“I’ll take you to the___________ as soon as your chores are done”
“I’ll give you ________ as soon as your homework is done”
Get the idea?
Contact me for more ways this can be used to set limits with your loved ones who we sometimes allow to take advantage of us and to just raise responsible children.