Here is a simple L.O.V.E. Parenting tool called “Excuse me, Mom, will you please reconsider?”
Have you ever answered, “No,” too quickly, instantly regretted your decision and then been faced with your child’s incessant demand? Have you ever answered, “No,” rather benignly, and then been startled by an overwhelming explosion of dismay from your child?
If you can teach your children to say the simple phrase of “Excuse me, Mom, will you please reconsider?” instead of begging, pleading, shouting, demanding, screaming, hitting, pouting, or blaming, it might bring some relief to your daily life. By reconsidering the situation, you give yourself a way to change your mind, and give a “Yes,” without giving in.
Sometimes we say, “No,” out of habit, or so quickly because it is easier to deny the request; honestly, there are so many requests in a day, an hour, a minute; it can get overwhelming. Sometimes the answer needs to stand; your child really can’t have another cookie, stay another hour, watch another video or go out tonight. But sometimes, the answer really can change to an affirmative.
If you begin to model this sentence, literally saying in front of your children in response to their begging you, your children will pick up on it. You can also be direct and tell them that they don’t need to whine, they can just calmly ask you to reconsider. You can explain that given the opportunity to rethink the situation, sometimes you may change your mind. You can fairly disclose that sometimes the first answer will stand, but sometimes, upon second thought, it might change.
I have used this technique to great success with my kids. With time, and by simply stating the sentence I want to hear, or reminding my children to ask me to reconsider, they have adopted this phrase and it has really cut down on the “fall-outs.” They understand the ebb and flow of different days and different situations and the fact that sometimes the reconsidering changes the decision and sometimes it doesn’t. The times that I do change my mind, I’m so relieved to have the opportunity to do so and not in response to their throwing a fit. On the occasions when the results don’t change, my children are often still upset, and at this point, I don’t waiver; I’ve reconsidered and the first answer stands and I wait it out until they’ve moved through the storm of their disappointment. The length of the storm is affected by other factors, such as sleep, social stimulus, nutrition, etc. More on that later. For now, remember, “Excuse me, Mom, will you please reconsider?” L.O.V.E. Parenting
About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today's progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.