Liking the Child You Love

How to build a better relationship with your kids—even when they're driving you crazy.

Say These 6 Words to Break Free of a Nagging Child or Teen

Kids have a way of nagging that can lead to them getting what they want from parents--even when what they end up getting may not be best for them. Read More

Not really substantiated....

It is articles like these that give psych's a bad name. Did you define defiant apart from normal teen or child behavior? No. Did you go after a game stopper...yes. This is a "fast food" psychology approach. The kid was doing a normal thing and the parent was tired.
Let's stop making a big deal about the normal stuff. let her go or don't but maybe addressing the tired mom who gets the request to make decisions before getting home or after dinner. A lttlemore structure going into the planning stage handles it better, Anyone with your education should have known better. Or better yet, ask a mom.

I think this is a very useful response

And I think its useful under other conditions as well, basically any time you find yourself being pressured to commit to something RIGHT NOW.

Examples would be things like being pressured by the head of the PTA to agree to organize an event, being pressured to donate money in support of a cause, being pressured to agree with a particular opinion (like, if you find yourself a third party in a debate between two people, being "triangulated.")

Another version is:

"I don't know; I'll have to think about it / check my calendar / consult with my spouse / and get back to you about it."

Its a delaying tactic, and these are very useful when emotions are running high in a pressure-cooker situation. So unless its a life-and-death matter where seconds actually count, I say delay until you feel comfortable about your decision.

excellent suggestion

I do not think it matters whether the child is a "normal" teen or "demanding" teen (as the first commenter suggests). Children, both "normal" and "demanding" and even "normally demanding" want what they want and are naturally self centered. It is through a steady stream of life experiences that are not "all about them" that eventually shows them life is, in fact, not all about them. But during this process, there are years of fatigue many parents feel as they try to set limits. The limits are important not only to help the parent avoid being manipulated into something that they don't think is best, but limits are also important for children (both normal and demanding) to learn that there are limits. I like the "let me think about it" suggestion as a simple strategy to put the brakes on the pressure we all feel in the moment, when dealing with people who are not good at respecting boundaries. This naturally includes children who are still learning boundaries, but applies to demanding adults as well. Consider the hard sell of a used car salesmen! Who has not told a salesman who is pressuring you "Let me think about it"??? I think it is always a great way to walk away and clear your head. So, great article! It does not diminish the field of psychology in the least. Some of psychology is to remind us of common sense wisdom we all have, but have perhaps forgotten. Just my perspective, as someone who has raised three very normal very demanding and normally demanding teenagers and bought a few used cars over the years . . . for those normal demanding teens :-).

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Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., has authored four books, including 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child.


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