Sunday, 06 November 2016 00:04

Why Threats and Nagging Your Child to Read Don’t Work (and what to do instead that does!)

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Imagine this scene:

You come home from work tired, arms loaded with groceries, and run in the door to start dinner. In the living room you spot your son, playing Minecraft again, a backpack full of homework sits untouched on the floor. “Didn’t we just talk about this last weekend?” You ask yourself, disbelieving he’d go back so fast to old (and not good!) habits. “What do I need to do to get across to him he needs to stop playing video games until he’s done with everything else?”

You are fired up. You don’t need this challenge right now. The first words out of your mouth after mumbling hello are fully charged, “Get off the video games, NOW! I can see your homework isn’t done, I’m sure you haven’t read, and it’s already 6:30! If you don’t start right now, I’m taking those video games away.” Exhale.

He rolls his eyes, tosses the joystick aside and slowly makes his way to the backpack to begin…

You fixed the situation, again.

Homework and reading will most likely get done tonight after all. But what about tomorrow night? And the next? Are you just going to keep on like this? You know you can’t, and you are right. It’s just.not.healthy. But yelling and threatning (almost) always work! So, what else can you do?

Get my free guide on 15 Phrases to Say to Your Child to Get Him to Read Without Threatening, Nagging or Yelling!

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Yes, threats and yelling do work, most of the time, which is why so many parents often resort to using them. They don’t feel good, however, neither to you nor your child, and you know there must be a better way. So how can you get your child to do what he needs to without threatening him, yelling or nagging? You can do it by engaging with him (instead of directing threats and nags AT him) and being explicit about your request.

Ariadne Brill of Positive Parenting Connection shares the following ways you can get your child to comply readily without bribes or threats.

3        Ways to move beyond threats and yelling to get your child to cooperate:

  1. Avoid statements that are loaded and vague. Examples are:
  • “You are being so bad! Just wait and see what happens!”
  • “I’ve had it, get moving or else!”

These are not specific and are discouraging to children, making them fearful and may lead to retaliation. Instead, describe the behavior that is not acceptable, such as:

  • “You may not hit your sister.”
  • “Kicking my seat while I am driving is not OK.”

This will help children know exactly what they may not do, without question.

  1. Get children’s cooperation by making them feel encouraged and capable. Rather than threats, use statements that involve your child in a positive way, such as:
  • “Hitting the dog hurts him. Do you want to brush him? The dog would love some special attention from you!”
  • “Do you want to come over here and help me with dinner? Your sister would like some alone time right now but I could use your help and would love your company.”
  1. Use language that invites cooperation, such as:
  • “I’m looking for two assistants to set the table! Any takers?”
  •  “I am happy to keep you company while you sort your books.”

Remember to ask yourself, “What can I do to help my child cooperate in this moment?

How can these strategies be applied to a child who doesn’t want to read? Find out here:

Get my free guide on 15 Phrases to Say to Your Child to Get Him to Read Without Threatening, Nagging or Yelling!

Access Now >>

Read 828 times Last modified on Sunday, 06 November 2016 19:43

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