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Child Nagging and Negotiating

You will not find more persistence than in a household where there are preschool children nagging and negotiating at every bend to get what they want. Children will ask and ask and ask again in the case that you might change your mind the last moment. Trust me, it is not only the young kids who do this….my kids who are 14 and 10, do try their luck at times too. According to experts, child nagging is one behavior that can be unlearned. All you need are three simple words: “Asked and Answered.”

Instead of repeating your ‘no’ answer several times or being tempted to lecture your child or worse still, get upset and angry, try these simple steps:

1. Ask your child if he has heard about ‘Asked and Answered’?” (The answer will probably be no.)

2. Ask, “Did you ask me a question about (whatever he asked)?” (The answer will probably be yes.)

3.  Ask, “Did I answer it?” (He’ll probably say, “Yes, but, I really ….”)

4. Ask him if you look like the kind of mum or dad who will change his or her mind when asked the same question over and over. (Your child may walk away maybe with a frustrated grunt, and engage in something else.)

5. If he asks again, simply say “Asked and Answered.” (No other words are necessary!) Once you try this a couple of times, he will get it. Be sure to be consistent.

Talk to your spouse and other adults in the family and make sure you all are on the same page of the “Asked and Answered” rule. If you don’t do this, chances are your child will run to the other parent for approval and may get one too.

Happy Parenting!