Ever wonder why you yell at your kids, take away privileges and put them in time out and nothing seems to change? It’s because you are spinning the endless cycle of action and reaction instead of stopping it. You are expecting your child to make the change and be the grown-up first.
A father I am working with has established a deep cycle of resistance with his eight year old daughter, who is a very strong-willed child and says things to her father like, “You don’t love me”, “You’re mean”, and “It’s unfair”. She has a little brother who is easy and flexible and gets his parents approval because of it.
Dad complains, “She says no to everything, even something she knows is coming up and she is supposed to do. For instance, I told her when we got home it was time to go up to bed – twice. Calmly. But when we walked in the door, she went directly over to the table and started to draw. That started it.”
When this dad, like so many parents, is