From Mrs. Barnes
Jim Fay from Love and Logic writes, sometimes it feels good to have some quick responses for those times when our kids try to take us on bird walks. A bird walk is a way for them to change the subject or control the conversation.
I hope you enjoy these. You might like to listen to the audio version of this tip to capture the tone of voice and/or delivery. It’s also fun to watch your child’s reaction as you sidestep their attempts to win an argument.
Child: “It’s too hard. I can’t do it.”
Answer: “Oh, really. What do you think I think about that?”
Child: “But I don’t need my coat!”
Answer: “Won’t it be fun to find out?”
Child: “You never_________.” Or “You always_________.”
Answer: “I bet it looks that way. Tell me more.”
Child: “You’re clueless!”
Answer: “A clueless parent has got to be such a burden.” Or “Having clueless parents must be such a drag.”
Answer: “Thanks, pal.” (Turn and walk away.)
Child: “You just don’t get it!” (Translation: “I’m so unique and special that rules and limits should not apply to me.” Kids also use this when they don’t want, or are afraid, to tell us what we don’t get.)
Answer: “I guess I can be a little slow at times. Maybe you could explain it in a different way.”
Child: “Those grades are not my fault. The teacher just doesn’t like me.”
Answer: “It must feel awful to get grades like that. Is there any way we can help?”
Child: “I don’t have to put up with this. I’m going to live with Dad!”
Answer: “Not to worry. I’d rather have you here, but I’ll love you wherever you live.”
Reminder: These responses are never intended to be flippant remarks that discount the child’s feelings. They absolutely must be said with compassion and understanding. If an adult uses these responses to try to get the better of a child, the problem will only become worse. The parent’s own attitude at these times is crucial to success.
To learn more about Love and Logic, call, email, or stop by to talk to Stacey Barnes, Counselor