How Do I Get My Children To Do What I Ask The First Time?

No matter how old your kids are, this is a common problem … and a great opportunity to apply the lessons from my book, Peaceful Parenting: 10 Essential Principles. First, it’s important to know that you are the parent. It is your job to set and enforce the boundaries. It is also important to realize that it is your kid’s job to test the boundaries so they can feel safe.

Getting Children to do What You Ask the First Time

Since your children are just doing their job, and you are just doing your job, there is no reason to get upset. Remind yourself not to take the situation personally.

Keep in mind that people should always trump electronics in your home. Turn down the TV and answer your children’s questions, even if it is your favorite movie. Can an incoming text take your attention away from your children when they want or need your attention?

Remember: more is caught than taught. It is also important to remember that kids are naturally curious and that they don’t want to be interrupted at a point when they are engaged in what is to them an important activity. You need to help your kids transition from one activity to another. This sets an example for them to respect you in the same way. For example: “We need to leave in 10 minutes, so finish up what you are doing so we can leave on time.”

Kids aren’t usually trying to make you angry. Some forethought and respect helps. You are modeling for them a healthy way to interact. When you yell, you are teaching them to yell. When you make eye contact and speak calmly, they will follow suit.

If they don’t do what you ask them to do the first time, then don’t get caught up in a power struggle. Simply enforce logical consequences for their noncooperation. If they don’t get out of the pool on time, they won’t get to go back the next day.

Don’t get caught up in a power struggle. Reward your children with praise when they do respond immediately. This kind of reaction works better in the long run than nagging.

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