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“If you do that one more time . . .!”

December 7, 2010
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Tired of your child misbehaving over and over? How can you make them stop? How often do you use the phrase “If you do that one more time…”?

What the Experts Say…

“To children, threats are invitations to repeat a forbidden act. When a child is told, ‘If you do it once more,’ he does not hear the words ‘if you.’ He hears only ‘do it once more.'” Advice from Haim Ginott, Child Psychologist (Between Parent and Child).

In Other Words…

Threats are ineffective as a means of correcting children. They are often misunderstood and children will likely do the exact thing you have told them not to do.

How This Applies to You…

This week try something new. Instead of telling the child what not to do, make a simple statement and offer an acceptable alternative.

For example, you might say, “That is not safe. Would you like to play with your truck instead?”

As you effectively redirect your child, you will have fewer fights and less stress. How does that sound?

To Find Out More…

For an excellent program on parenting, see The Parenting Journey at Arkansas Families and if you have children less than 5 years of age, check out See the World Through My Eyes.

For more information on parenting, we recommend Between Parent and Child by Dr. Haim Ginott.

1 One more time – Par

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