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Episode 112

What Should I Do When My Kid Doesn’t Do What I Ask? 

June 17, 2024
In Episode 112, Kyle and Sara, LPCs, discuss one of most common questions parents ask us when we are coaching them. What consequence or punishment should I do when my kid doesn’t do what I ask? We share the steps we take to help parents approach these moments in a different way, which inevitably leads to more cooperation and less resistance. When parents do these steps they are surprised that their children actually want to be cooperative and helpful. 

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Episode 112 Transcript:

Every parent has the fear in their mind when they ask their kid to do something, what am I gonna do if they don't wanna do it? What kind of reward or punishment am I definitely gonna have to use to motivate my kid to actually care about what I'm asking?

But what if that's the completely opposite mindset that will help your kid be cooperative? In today's podcast, Sara and I are gonna give you three specific things you can do this summer to change that way of thinking. So when you approach these moments, you're gonna approach them in a completely different part of your brain, and it's actually going to help your kid.

be in that space too. And almost 100 % of the time, they are going to be more cooperative in those moments. And you will no longer need to use fear at all, but you can still come in with the belief that you are raising a kid who does care about what you have to say. So come join us today on the podcast.

Hello, welcome to the Art of Raising Humans. I'm Kyle. And I'm Sara. And today we want to talk with parents about what to do when a kid isn't gonna do something you ask, you know? Yeah, and as parents we run into that all the time, right? So many times parents, you know, we'll be coaching them and we'll be telling them, I would say do this in that moment. And then they would say, that sounds great. Wait, wait, but wait, what if they don't do it then? Yeah. You know?

And then they're wanting then typically some kind of great consequence or punishment, you know, to really give that kid to then make them do it. Okay. And so we really want to jump into that today, but I first want to let you know, if any parent listening to this podcast is saying, man, we're really struggling. We've been listening to the podcast, we've been reading some great books on parenting, and we're just really having a hard time implementing these skills in a practical way on a day to day basis. You know, when all the craziness is hitting the fan, you know,

You know, it can definitely be hard. And there's a lot of times we can know things to do, but it's hard to really know how to implement them. So if you feel like you need that level of support, that is something that Sara and I love to offer parents. So reach out to me at Kyle at artofraisinghumans .com if you're interested in knowing more about how we coach and help parents, right? So now let's dive into this, Sara. So what is the problem with asking yourself that question? Because that seems like a no brainer. Why wouldn't I ask that question? What if my kid doesn't do what I ask? Yeah, I think it's sort of you need to ask that question.

to be prepared with your plan, right? Your contingency plan.

The way they might not do it or even say no, just a plain no. And so I need to have my character, my stick ready to motivate my kid because why would they do it if there isn't some motivator? So I think we often start in that place. But I think with anything, if I go into any relationship, any dynamic, any conversation, and I'm starting from this negative space of this is going to go badly, then it is much more likely to go badly.

Yeah, I mean almost like if I go into a conversation with a kid or even with you as my wife and I'm thinking wow I want to talk to her about this. What if she doesn't care? What if she doesn't listen to me? And I'm already thinking what can I do to you to then make you care or make you listen? It's gonna put me, you know, what I hope the listeners understand, it's gonna put you in a different place in your brain where you're already expecting the pushback.

And the parents will say, that's because they always give me pushbacks, right? And I want to tell you with total confidence that we have helped so many parents that if you can shift and tweak this, where you walk in believing that it can go well, that it will change everything. But we're just not making this up, right? Yeah.

I mean, the reason why we come from this viewpoint is what we know about kids. Yeah. And even in brain development, there's a lot of science and a lot of different in the workforce. They have a lot of conversations about this stuff. And if you walk, I mean, I probably everyone that you've heard where if you walk into a room, let's say you're going to a party and you don't know a lot of people. And if you go in thinking, nobody's going to like me, everyone's going to reject me. Then what do you think is going to happen when you walk in that room? Even though you haven't announced it to everyone.

everybody, your body language, and then they're coming out with things all the time saying these mirror neurons, all these things going on in our heads send out that message. We're just walking into the room. You should walk into a room, probably everyone's familiar with this. You walk into a room feeling with confidence and friendliness and a smile on your face and believing, I'm going to make great connections at this party. That's going to get you much further than believing this is going to be terrible. And it's the same thing with the relationship with our child when we're going to be

when we go into these interactions. So you're saying it's kind of like a self -fulfilling prophecy, right? So what I expect to happen probably will happen. You're setting the stage without words, without your body, everything's gonna, it just rolling out what kind of experience you, what's gonna happen. And the kid picks up on that. You know, I'm thinking Sara, as you said that, I didn't even know you're gonna take it that direction, but I'm thinking even though I feel like I'm a pretty confident person, you know,

almost every time I go into an unfamiliar group or setting, right, there is this thought of like, my gosh, I don't want to look like an idiot. Or how do I, why is anyone going to want to connect and talk to me and those thoughts will be fleeting, but they'll be there. And they'll cause me to kind of pull away a little bit and be less myself because I'm actually slipping down into the limbic system. I'm getting more into the emotional center of my brain. So any listeners, if you could think about that, think how many times you've gone into like a group setting, expecting the worst. Like some people go in and think nobody's going to care.

care what I have to say, or everybody's gonna get bored with me talking too much or whatever these kind of these kind of scripts you have in your head, you know, like you're going to be hyper sensitive to look for that. Right. And so I'm even thinking like, I guess in a marriage, the way that might work is maybe if I don't think you care about what I care about, when I come and talk to you, if at any point during that conversation, you look away, or you pick up your phone, or all of that is going to cause fear to come in me. And then what am I like,

to do either I'm likely to shut down and stop sharing or I'm likely to get aggressive and like say put your phone down and start accusing you of not caring about what I'm saying yeah yeah and I know and I think it's just really important to know that

those we can say these things with our words, but these things are being communicated rather we use words or not. So just like at a party or a business meeting or vice step onto a stage to give a presentation. We are conveying messages all the time and that same thing is very true when we engage our child.

So we need to hold and be aware of how am I walking into this engagement with my child when I'm going in to ask them something. How am I doing that? Am I coming in aggressive already assuming they're going to say no or am I coming in fearful and thinking, no, this, I'm going to have to ask them 50 times and this is going to be so terrible. What body language, what message do you already have going through your head? Cause it's about to impact this, this relationship and this dynamic. Yeah. And I, I, I hope what they're hearing is that all of that Sara,

starts in our mind. It starts in our belief system. You know, whenever I did drug and alcohol counseling for a long time, typically I felt good as a drug and alcohol counselor, I would do these small groups with with people who were called court ordered to be there. So lots of times people, even though they didn't want to be there, they didn't act excited about being there, some are really mad about being there. I typically came in pretty confident that I thought I could help switch that dynamic. But there would be some days I was just more tired, or more overwhelmed with even stuff going on at home when we had little babies. And it'd be hard to go to that

group and feel good about it. You know, some of us I would, I would start to feel insecure about it. So, so I'd go in and even though I'd had tons of successful times in these groups, you know, all of a sudden I would see people not making eye contact with me or see people on their phones more. And I would immediately hear a voice in my head that says they don't care. They don't want to get better. Like they, they want to continue doing drugs. They want to continue getting DUIs. They don't care to improve. And then that would cause me to be a worse, you know, drug and alcohol

counselor. I was more, I was pressing more.

I was more like real, like to me, I err on the side of being more like demanding, you know? And so I almost wanted to say, put your phone down or like, guys, come on, take this serious. You guys want to get arrested again? You know? And I wanted to kind of go that direction. But, but I had to really kind of regulate my body again, get back to the belief that I think these people want to do better. I think, did I know that? I hadn't had conversations with them. Either way, your brain is filling in. You're looking at behaviors and your brain's filling it in. Yeah. So.

So then you can just choose how do you want it to be filled in? In your case, does it benefit you or that person to think they don't care, they don't want to be here, they think this is boring, nothing's going to change for their life, or right or wrong, does it benefit more to go?

They're tired, you know, whatever. They're tired or yeah, they're embarrassed. They're ashamed of being here. Yeah. They want this. They want their life to be better. It's hard to make this change. Yeah. Maybe they've tried to make these changes many times before, right? So I would love for any listener right now who's listening to the podcast to think for a second, just think about some conflict with you and your kids, some place where,

there hasn't been the cooperation you'd like. Maybe it's picking up clothes, maybe it's doing the dishes, maybe it's picking up dog poop or doing their homework or whatever it is you're asking them to do and where you've gotten a lot of pushback from. So I want you to take a moment and just think about what that is. And then I want you to listen to kind of in your head, what is the belief you have?

And many times, Sara, the most common ones are kid is too lazy or unmotivated. So the kid doesn't care about this stuff. Kid, for whatever reason, thinks other things are more important than what I'm asking them to do. So there's all these different things, but those are real common ones, especially the motivation and the not caring.

are real common ones we hear parents say. So parents will say, yeah, but he showed me a history of that. So to some extent, I think the example you gave of getting on a stage, which is some people's biggest fear, so if any of you are listening to this and you've ever tried to do that, lots of people get scared to death, but in that setting, what really good speakers do is they're showing up. They don't know who's in that crowd, but the really good speakers come in with the belief that these people want to hear what they have to say. Now, do they know that to be true? No.

You know, but they just believe it to be true and that helps them be able to really be at their best because they're not insecure up there. You know, they feel confident. Yeah. Your mindset is going to serve you one way or another. So you get to choose which one's going to serve me better. So let's just start from that place. That's the place I want to start. How do I want to go into this? So let's start with Sara before we get into those scenarios that the listeners are thinking about.

What is it we know basically about child development? What do we know about motivation, about those kind of things? The thing that we've noticed and read is one, kids want to succeed. So that kids don't come into this world wanting to be failures.

kids actually want to be good at things they're doing. Okay, so if we start there, kids are motivated. Okay, so for instance, your kid didn't need you to motivate them to walk. Kids will naturally start to walk. Yeah, I think as babies it's easiest to see it there because honestly we just haven't really messed things up a whole lot yet. And babies are trying things over and over again and you'll even see them get frustrated and yet they keep trying. Maybe they give up for a moment and then they revisit it.

You can see that time and time again through great adversity. It's really hard to figure out how to work these legs and walk. And they fall down countless times and then they still have to learn how to run, all of that. You see that natural motivation exists. It's just part of being human to master something, to learn new skills and then we feel really good about ourselves. And that happens automatic.

And it's not easy, you know? So like you just used the word for the third one. So they want to succeed, they are motivated, and they want to master things, okay? And like when you watch a kid do it, this is really what got me to buy into it, Sara, is it's not easy for them. It's very hard. Like every day, your kids, when they're little, they're doing really hard things. So even like, I have to go back to anytime I think our kids aren't willing to do hard things, like they've been doing hard things for a long time, you know? I mean, it would be much easier to just sit there.

and let you do everything for, but they choose to walk. It'd be much easier for them to let you feed with a spoon.

but they want to pick their food up and eat it. And you just watch them and it's amazing to see them. Like you put them on a playground for the first time and they want to explore. And I remember when I took Abby as like a, I think she was two and a half, three, took her to this one park. And every time I climbed high things, she thought she could do that too. And that's what we know actually about kids. They talk about with things like rock climbing. If you want a kid who does rock climbing, if you start up with a kid who's just like 18 months, the kid will naturally learn and feel safe to do that. Because,

they're not thinking it's unsafe. They're thinking you're gonna get them, it's okay. So then because fear isn't a part of it, they are motivated to climb and they will want to grab and move up. And I think we forget that, that that's actually the basic nature of your kid. They wanna succeed, they are motivated, and they want to master things.

and their brain rewards them automatically for that mastery. It's just part of the human process. And of course you can do all these studies on kids as they master things and the confidence and all this stuff that's happening internally as they go through this. I think maybe as parents sometimes we lose sight of what our kids are mastering. You know, cause we have this set over here. Here's my list of what I want. And sometimes I'm not really aware of, or I have to be intentional about thinking about what they...

are mastering, what they are tackling in their list. And I mean, even a small example, we have two kids at camp this week. Yeah. And they're learning all kinds of things at camp. Yeah. And so they're doing all sorts of things, mastering all sorts of things. Their brains are working very, very hard. Coming home tired every day because of it. Yeah. And I could be thinking, you're just going to this fun camp. Yeah. But unless I step back and go, I mean, there are social circles they're having to navigate. my goodness. And different people get

giving them rules and guidelines and it's a different schedule than what they're used to. And for our kids, it's different snacks than they're used to. And all these things, if I pause for a moment and go, wow, yeah, that's a lot.

So our kids are constantly working on things that rather we're aware of it or not. They're constantly working on things. Now that doesn't mean we can have our list too. And that list is important. So circle back around to that list. Yeah. And then the last thing I would add to that, Sara, on top of that, that I was just thinking as you were talking too, is kids naturally care. Yes. They care about what you say. Because their lives depend on it. You know? Like if there is, if you somehow, when they're very young, if you disengage that,

the kid couldn't live, you know? So kids just developmentally care about what you want and they care if you are not happy with them or pleased with them, right? Because they want to live and they want to thrive. So I want to add that as a fourth, right? So kids are naturally, they want to succeed. They naturally are motivated to try and do new things. They want to master things that they're doing, whether it's like, I know for us, we saw it with stairs. I always use that as an example. How many times we spent time watching our kids go up and down stairs. So if you are a parent who doesn't have stairs in your home, you

you've seen your kids do that, kids will just go up and down stairs constantly. They're wanting to try new things they just learned over and over again until they can get good at it, right? And then the fourth one is they care about what you are saying. Yeah. You matter. I think sometimes we can slip into spaces where we think, they don't care about me here, they don't...

especially if they're a teenager, maybe they're even sometimes individuating, they are going out and saying, right now I don't want you parent. And it's because they're practicing those skills for being an adult. But at the end of the day, you always matter. Even if they're practicing being big, you still matter. You're their home base. Even what I hear all the time, Sara, is kids that I see in the Tulsa office and I'm helping with kids there, is they, even when they have

relationships with their parents. They try not to care and you can tell how much they care, right? The reason why they're so bothered by their parents being mad at them is because they actually do care and that's actually why the parent gets mad at them to try to quote unquote make them care. Yeah, so we all underlying believe that they do care, you know, because if they didn't, I'll tell parents, you really don't believe the kid is motivated doesn't care. Let's just stop asking the kid like you're just beating your head against the wall. I think you keep asking because you believe there is something in there that they do care, you know, so I don't just go up randomly ask,

strangers this I'm asking my kid this I think my kid does care you know so so if we go with those basic four things then I want the listeners to think about that that whatever that that conflict is where you keep asking your kid to do something and then you're saying but what if they don't so so even might be as simple as something is my kid has left their toys out in the living room and I want them to pick it up so I may be helping a parent with that and the parent may say yeah but if I ask him he's gonna he or she's gonna say no and then I'll have to do what what am I gonna do then?

Okay. And almost every time what's happening there's fear is bubbling up fear that what I'm saying or what I'm doing isn't enough that somehow I'm going to have to motivate him or her. I'm going to have to make him care, you know? And he doesn't even success isn't something he cares about mastery is something he cares about. So it's like, I'm now going to have to be this force that makes him care and makes him motivated. Yeah.

just feel at a loss sometimes. Like I've asked him and maybe you've even tried a couple things and it's still not happening and you just feel at a loss. Yeah. And so then I think, so most people we tend to default to, well now what is I need to use fear. Yeah. I need to change my stick or change my carrot. Yeah. Somehow he like, like if you go in with that belief, he or she will not do it unless I reward them or I punish them. Yeah.

then I guarantee you that moment will end that way every time. Yeah. And honestly, it gets worse. You know, you have to up the reward or even up the punishment and you'll be like, he doesn't even care if I ground him anymore. He doesn't, you know, you're always looking for that perfect punishment or perfect reward. And we hear it over and over and over again, cause those things only have a limited impact. And.

Yeah, just long term is not so sexy. I would say it has a limited impact to actually do the thing, but it has a long term impact in the sense of the kids starts to buy into this lie that they start to believe they're not motivated. My kids will tell me that I'm not motivated. The kid will tell me they don't care, even though I can see how much they care. Right. So, but the kid will start to tell themselves that because you have told them that, you know, they will believe there's no way they would wash the dishes or clean up the room unless you paid them or threatened them.

They will believe that they will not get good grades unless you do that. Even though, you know, there's other kids they see doing that who just, they get the good grades because they like how it feels inside to get those, right? But I mean, I remember Sara, even as a middle school or high school, I remember friends telling me when I was getting A's and B's, how stupid that was. And I'd say, well, why? And they say, well, if you just got C's and D's, then your parents will pay you to get A's and B's.

And I was like, I never thought of that. So these kids were telling me they had somehow learned that parents believe they don't want A's and B's.

You know, and so we'll just get C's and D's to then get them to pay us to get A's and B's. Whereas I genuinely wanted A's and B's. I never thought one that my parents could afford to pay me for it, but two, I liked how that felt. You know, so I studied and I did the work because it felt good to succeed, you know, but those kids were succeeding in a different way. They weren't succeeding academically, but they were succeeding and they were saying like, Hey dummy, don't succeed that way. Succeed this way. You'll get money. So either way they were learning to master something. They were very motivated and they wanted to.

succeed. Yeah it's brilliant. And I'd say also they cared but what they started caring about more than the grades was the money. Yeah. Because parents were tying that into the grades. Yeah. And then you grow up to be that adult who's always needing something to either fall apart to motivate you.

something bad to happen or you need this thing that you're always chasing. And that's just a difficult adult life versus something coming inside of me and who I am and how I want to show up and be in this world. That's a much better space to work from. So now Sara, let's give our listeners three specific ways that we help switch that. Right. Okay. So I know we just talked about this isn't one of the ways, but I need to switch my mentality. Right. That's your starting place. I'm not, I'm not going to go in with fear. I'm not going to go in with fear.

not going to go and ask myself, but what if you and I'm telling you that just being truthful to all the listeners, I worked as a school counselor for seven years. So I worked with thousands of kids that I did not know and I had no relationship with. So I didn't go in believing.

this kid could do it because I saw a lot of evidence that the kid had. I just went in believing the kid cared, the kid was motivated. I went in with that belief and then asked the kid to do the thing. I was like, so I came in with the self -fulfilling prophecy that I think this is gonna go well. I think the kid is gonna wanna do what I'm asking and that helped. But then these three specific ways of changing your mind really will help you in getting that confidence and how to approach that. Yeah, so a few things to consider.

So just as in if you're gonna go into an interview or a sales pitch or you'd have your things ready but you're gonna walk in with your confidence and your mind in the right space. So you start there and then you walk into the room. A few things to consider. First one is relationship. If my child, we've been super busy, maybe I was out of town, maybe our schedule's just crazy and the child has spent five quality minutes with me. I don't mean riding in a car, I don't mean.

You know being in the same building or something. I mean quality time So if I really connected really enjoying each other similar, this is similar marriage to same thing. Yes, very true So you have to start with relationship start with connection? So if you're feeling some sandpaper some what's going on here between us? Even though I'm in a good space and I'm asking you to do something I need to start first with have I even connected have I even conveyed in any way that this relationship is important to me or am I just handing out orders?

Yeah, if my child's been busy and it's been a crazy week and it's Saturday morning and I'm like I want you to mow the lawn do the dishes Why isn't your room clean yet? And I haven't hugged them. I haven't spent had a real conversation with them then You've kind of set yourself up for some problems, right? Cuz nobody that wouldn't feel good to you You've had a long week and then your spouse or something comes in and says by the way blah blah and goes down this list you'd be like Well, yeah, why don't you ask me how my mornings exactly? Yeah. Yeah, they're naturally gonna be more resistant, right? So you want?

You want to make sure you spend time with them, you're connecting. So if you're getting any pushback, it's not because the kid doesn't care, not because the kid isn't motivated, not because the kid doesn't want to succeed or master things. It might be because the relationship is just strained, right? That maybe the kid hasn't been really connected with you all week. So asking that kid to do that thing is going to naturally in any setting, like you said, any work setting, there's going to be more conflict there. Yeah. I mean, because we each are our own humans with our own agendas, maybe they are going to play with their friends.

that morning or something. So if I'm asking them like here, I'm going to give you a schedule of tasks, which, you know, none of us are probably that excited about, then I need to realize I need to make sure we're good, just like I would with you. You know, if I was going to ask you to do a bunch of things, we need to be good. Well, if we hadn't talked all week and then Saturday morning wake up and you start giving me a list of things I need to complete, I'd be kind of put off. I'd be like, what's the deal? Like I'm just not a robot here to do things for you. Yeah. So, and you might have had other plans.

And here I am coming in. So we need to make sure we're good, right? That we've got that foundation. And then another one is I need to think about what...

Support I might need to give my child. What are their abilities? Yeah, and do they know how to do the thing? I'm asking and sometimes we think well know my kid knows yeah, but step back for a second Just take a deep breath and think even though I feel like my child should know is My child conveying to me. They need a little more support. Yeah, and I have been there I have with with one with my daughter We had cleaned a room cleaned a room cleaned a room and I very much felt like you know how to do we've got?

Check it off. We taught you yes Yes, but when I could step back and step out of my frustration or something that it wasn't done or it been an hour And this is all you've done if I could listen to her she was saying I know you feel like I should be able to do this But I'm telling you I still need more support. Yeah, so and I'm not saying she always said that with her words Yeah, you know she got to that space. Yeah, but sometimes just see maybe my kid needs more support Maybe all the support is my son's gonna mow the lawn and I'm gonna bring him some coal

lemonade you know I'm gonna you know whatever it might be just just think how not as a bribe but as a it's hot it's sunny it's a stinky job to do or maybe you say something like hey once you do that hot job mowing the lawn let's go swimming right yeah and you see that's not a carrot it's just like hey let's go support for you're doing this thing yeah let's take care of you let's give you the support you need something to cool you off you know there I mean there's all kinds of so just be thinking if it's dishes if it's room clean what's

whatever it might be, is there a way they need a little support?

To learn more skills or just you your presence sometimes is all the support a child needs they just need to know they're not alone Yeah, so you might even we've had times where we're doing some paperwork or we're working on our computers or something But we're in their room while they're cleaning. Yeah, you know Yeah, just sit there and talk to him whether do it So just look for ways that you're supporting them if they're just feeling very alone and maybe they're just really overwhelmed because it's a hard job. Yeah

And what's the third one? So I have to think about that. Well, the third one would be Sara. The third would be my blank. It is like support, but it is a lack of confidence. Yes. Yeah. So one to me, the one you just mentioned was more about knowledge.

It's about competency. Do I know how to do the thing I'm being asked to do? Right? Have we as parents modeled how to do it? Have we seen them do it successfully? Right? Yeah. But then the third one is, do they feel in this moment confident enough to do that and be successful? Once again, that's actually a lot of times why they don't want to do it is because they don't. So lots of parents will even say, they'd rather play the video games. That's because they feel confident doing it. I actually don't know many kids who spend hours playing video games that they don't do well at.

Like that's actually the secret sauce. If you lost every time. Yeah, that's the secret sauce of video games is that kids like to do it because they're feeling very confident in doing it that they can succeed. Yeah.

You know, so that's where we want to make sure we're coming alongside them to, you know, like I'm thinking lots of times kids just don't want to do it alone. You know, so part of it is that like they just, they feel like it's boring or they feel like the work is overwhelming. So even just something like when you say I would like this done by this time and then the kid goes, you know, hey, do you want to do it on your own or do you want me to help you with it?

Just something like that. Just real like, and once again, I'm not saying in fear, I'm saying completely, I believe this kid wants to do this, but for some reason they're finding it hard in this moment. So I just say, do you want to do it alone? Do you want me to help you with it? And that's the thing I have in my back pocket, right? So that's different than what if they say no, what am I going to do to them? It's what, if they say no, how am I going to help them? You know? And that's what Sara and I are trying to get at here is when I get that pushback, I'm starting with the belief the kid does care.

The kid wants to succeed. The kid actually, like little kids, if you remember your little kids, listeners, they want to help. Like kids want to help all the time. I know how many kids want to help mom cook dinner. They want to help dad do the lawn. They want to help, I mean, they learn that they're not helpful. Because they're told that a lot. So we want to make sure that's not a message in our home. We believe everybody in the home actually likes helping and contributing to the betterment of the family.

And I want to throw in a little bit in there. Sometimes we need to hold that we have a different goal than our kids goal. So I sort of touched on that in the morning, you know, maybe you have different plans than I did. But with any of this, we need to hold that they're individuals and they could have a goal in mind for however this is going to be done, like maybe what their room looks like and what you think their room should look like. Or, or maybe it's how they were going to spend the next hour of their life versus how you want them to spend the next hour.

And so we want to hold space. We might need to ask them to can you come over and make my goal your goal but hold that they're individuals and I might have a goal and it might be different than their goal. And we need to have a conversation about that. So that goes back to relationship. But just holding space for we can have different goals and it doesn't make them bad or uncaring or...

It doesn't make them whatever that doesn't make you them opposed to you either. They're not against you. Yeah, they're just for themselves, right? Like my goal was to play video games for four hours. And then you come and ask me to do this thing. Yeah. And maybe I don't really want them to do video games for hours, but I can still hold. you you had a goal of video games for four hours. Yeah. You know, and I didn't know that was your goal. Yeah.

Yeah, well, so in that, well, that goes in there, Sara, where I want the listeners to hear this, like your kid is not opposed to you. The kid is just for themselves. And what you'll find is when we go in with fear, the kid will fight for themselves and you'll fight for yourself. And nobody's coming together to really co -create a different ending. So I want to give you just like a quick, this will be just a quick example, okay? So this has helped a lot of parents lately, Sara, where parents are like, well, I want my son before he does, you know,

soccer practice, I want him to do the dishes. Okay. And so I'll ask him, tell me how you say it. And lots of times you'll sound something like this. Could you please get those dishes done before we go to soccer practice? And I'll say, No, no, no, no, that's not how we're gonna say it. Like that instinctively sends this message that it's it's you're trying to like, go them into picking it, right? You're trying to sound really nice. And really, and, and that's not going to work. So instead, I just say to my son, I want those dishes done before we go to soccer practice.

You know, and you see, just let that go, right? No fear of what if he says no, right? And then if he's like, he gives me a, hey, do you want me to help you with them or do you want to do them on your own? So just try that. You immediately come into, I think he wants to do these. He's just saying right now for whatever reason, either I don't feel like I can do it on my own or I don't feel confident I can do it or I had other plans, right? So then I just say, so I keep setting the goal. The focus is cooperation. Like we're going to do this. It's going to get done. I,

Totally have that belief we're gonna get this done. And I just need to maybe say it in a different way that helps you know you're not alone in this.

And I would just those two steps of just come in confidently, whatever it is you're wanting to say, Hey, I would like this done by this time. And you're saying it completely out of love, not out of fear at all. Belief that that kid is going to want to do the thing you're asking. And I'm telling you seven times out of 10, that's going to work. And the way I realized that Sara was back when we first were trying this was I remember Abby was in the car. She was young, like five or six. And I remember I was trying to word it like this and she was getting out of the car and her side of the car was messy. And I said, Hey, Abby, when you get out, would you mind?

picking up those things in the car. And Abby said, Yeah, I do dad, I don't really want to do that. And then she got out of the car. And I sat in the car for a second and thought, What? my goodness, what's how it happened there? Why didn't she do it? Yeah. So like, Okay, wait, let me think about how I said it. I said it with no confidence. Like I actually was a little nervous about her blowing up at me or whatever or getting mad. So I thought, Okay, next time, I'm not gonna worry about that. I'm just gonna say so as we pulled into the garage, I said, Hey, Abby, when you get out of the car, grab all that stuff and throw it away. And she just did it.

And there was no conversation about it. And I hear that from so many parents, Sara, who say, I did it, and the kid just did it. Because you're saying it like Nike does. Just do it. You're not saying in a bossy, commanding way. It's not aggressive. It's not passive. The first one, you actually were asking her yes or no. Yes, I was asking more of a yes or no question. Would you do this? No. You asked the yes or no question. The other time, you were just assertive, and you were calm. It was actually like, hey, can you grab that while you're doing it?

Well, I wouldn't say candy. Grab that. Just say grab it. Yeah. Grab that when you get out. Grab that when you get. Yeah. And so that just, I think people who find themselves doing it before they even realize like, yeah, sure. I can do that. I'll do. We were watching some movie the other day. That was really fun. McFarland USA with Kevin Costner and on there, a lot of these moms in this village or the city were just really assertive moms. And so they weren't saying things in bossy mean ways, but they were just like, Hey, get all that stuff over there. Put it over there. And like, even the adults were didn't even know what the stuff.

I'm sure you all know those kind of parents or those moms who just say those things like, how am I doing this all of a sudden? Because the way they said it, there was no space to even do something else. It was just like, but you didn't feel bossed around. You didn't feel disrespected. You felt like they were just saying, that's the next thing we're doing. It's just we're doing that. So I think a lot of parents just need to get better at doing that. So I encourage you to practice this on some of the little things. Practice on your confidence. Start telling yourself, my kid does want to succeed. They do. They are motivated. They do care.

Come in with that mentality and it will change everything. Okay? So I hope that was really helpful to you, especially over these summer months as this podcast will drop. Yeah, great time to practice. A lot of time where there's things you're wanting the kids to do. So come in with that mindset and I want you to see how it will change. And when that happens, we'd love to hear about it. We get really encouraged when people post comments, send us reviews. We get emails from people who are like, I listened to this episode and it really helped. So we would love that kind of feedback to hear how this podcast maybe helped your relationship.

with your kids. So make sure you leave a review. All that stuff helps our podcast grow. And we really appreciate you taking time to listen to us. Have a great day.

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