When it comes to persistence, very few things compare to a child nagging and negotiating to try and get what they want.
Can I get an AMEN?
Few people know this fact better than a parent who has given that child an answer they don’t want to hear - oh, the inhumanity.
From the infamous “Are we there yet?” to this morning’s “Can I have cake for breakfast?” to this evening's “Can I have cake for dinner?” kiddos are notorious for their one-track minds.
They will ask…and ask…and ask…just in case you’ve changed your mind in the last minute - and sometimes we just give in to their demands, for the sake of peace.
However, we're here to help you with all of that incessant whining, with a few handy phrases and tips that should quieten them down.
Asked and Answered.
The concept is simple. When your toddler BEGS to draw a giant picture on the kitchen wall gets “no” for an answer, chances are they'll be back in five minutes asking again.
Instead of repeating yourself or starting a lecture, avoid child nagging by getting eye to eye and follow the steps:
Mum: “Have you ever heard of ‘Asked and Answered’?” (They'll probably say no.)
Mum: “Did you ask me a question about drawing on the wall?”
Mum: “Did I answer it?”
Kid: "Yes, but, I really want to”
Mum: “Do I look like the kind of mum who will change her mind?”
Inevitably, they'll ask again, so simply say, “Asked and Answered.” (No more, no less!)
Once this technique has been established, these are the only words you should need to say to address nagging questions. Simples.
"I'm done discussing this."
Picture the scene, and follow the steps to stop the whining:
Kid: "Can I PLEASE have pizza for dinner?"
Mother: "No, you had some last week."
Mother: "I'm done discussing this."
Kid: "But ..."
Then, smile pleasantly, tilt your head to the right, give the best devil eyes you can, and then simply walk away. Silence guaranteed.
"Please do not bring it up again."
Kid: "I want these sweets."
Mum: "No, they're bad for you. You'll ruin your dinner"
Kid: "But I don't care."
Mum: "You're not getting sweets and that's final. Don't bring it up again."
Kid: "I NEED them!"
Mum: "You brought it up again. There goes your dessert for tonight."
Yes, you're going to get more crying with that response, but remember: getting your kid to understand that you mean business is a marathon, not a sprint. Persevere, mums.
"The decision has been made. If you ask again there will be a consequence."
Kid: "Can I watch the TV?"
Mum: "No, you know you're not allowed to watch TV before dinner."
Kid: "Please, I won't ever again."
Mum: "The decision has been made. If you ask again there will be a consequence."
Kid: "But I promise!"
Mum: "I told you not to bring it up again. No TV for the rest of the day."
Prepare yourself for a couple of tantrums until your kid realises that they're not going to get anywhere.
This is part of their normal testing stage. Your little one will eventually acknowledge that you will not change your mind, and all will be right in the world.