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Your new Magic Word is..."AND"

Setting limits is the hardest part about being a parent. It often means that your child will become upset and might throw a tantrum. On the other hand, when parents are too permissive, children feel they are in charge they will begin to feel unsafe and insecure. A useful mantra when setting a limit is: Connect and Redirect.

5 Ways to Connect and Redirect using "AND":

1. Validate feelings:

“I know it is hard to stop playing AND it is time for dinner.”

2. Redirection:

“You don’t want to brush your teeth, AND I don’t want to pay dentist bills. Who can get their teeth the whitest? Let’s see!” (being playful)

3. Show understanding:

“I can understand why you would rather watch TV than do your homework AND homework needs to be done first.” (remember routines)

4. Give a choice (be able to live with both!) and then follow through by deciding what you will do.

“I know you want to keep playing video games, AND your time is up. You can turn it off now, or it will be kept in my room.”

5. Follow through on advance agreement (older child).

“I know you don’t want to do your chores, AND what was our agreement about when they would be done?” (quietly wait for the answer)

All of these show the child that you are connecting with them. Children will be more likely to listen to you when they feel listened to (heard). A little goes a long way. Try it!

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