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Ep 79: Getting Children to Do As We Ask


This episode is all about ways we can encourage our children to do what we ask first time! I know it’s probably one of the most frustrating things we can up against as parents – ask isn’t once, twice, three times and then getting angry and frustrated that our children haven’t listened.

Now I’m going to tackle this in two half’s because there’s the dealing with it in the moment and then there’s the putting expectations in place. The more we’re clear in communicating our expectations and consistently applying them the easier the in-moment stuff will be and the less you’ll find yourself having to handle it.

I recently shared in my newsletter an article about Japanese fans and players at the Qatar World Cup both of whom after each match have tidied up the stands of rubbish and tidied their dressing room. This isn’t new behaviour specific to this World Cup – they’ve done it at previous tournaments. Why am I sharing this? The relevance is Japanese culture instils a sense of pride in tidying and children are raised to do this from a young age – they tidy their classrooms at school for example. The reason why it’s so relevant to this podcast episode is the notion of expedition and consistently in application. Children are capable of anything we consistently communicate we expect and consistently apply those expectations. For example we all expect our children to walk – so we encourage them as they toddle around and fall on their bottoms knowing that in time they’ll get there – they just need our encouragement. We don’t throw our hands in the air in exasperation when they fall on their bottoms because we have faith they will get there. The same rules apply to getting children to do what we ask – honestly it is.


Here are the highlights:

(00:41) Tackling on both fronts

(05:01) Expectation and consistency

(12:42) Do you have their attention?

(15:33) Be specific and clear

(18:19) Approach one thing at a time

(21:22) Repeating back the request

(25:43) Consistency gives you the tipping point

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