John Cowan - Do it again

Publish Date
Thursday, 31 May 2018, 1:51PM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

By John Cowan

If your child does something the wrong way, get them to do it again the right way.

For example, I reckon you should never give in to any request made to you in a whiney grizzly voice, so if they do use that tactic, say, “Pop down to your bedroom and pick up your nice voice and your manners, and come back and ask me again”.  Of course, they might  just grizzle even more so add, “If you are ask me like, the answer is always going to be , “NO”; but if you can speak to me a voice that is quiet and polite like mine, then I will listen to you.” The essential bit is that we have to be careful not to use a whiney,grizzly tone ourselves.

Or if they are slow to come when you call, when they finally do arrive, say, “Mate, you seem to be getting a bit slow when I call. Pop back to your room and let’s try that again”. Maybe do it a few times, turning it into a fun race against the clock. Drop your voice down, quieter and quieter, while complimenting them on how fast they are getting. We don’t expect children to be like performing seals, jumping through hoops at the snap of a finger, but reasonable compliance to reasonable requests is ... well... reasonable.

About John

John has been with The Parenting Place ( for seventeen years as their senior writer and presenter.  He had various roles working with youth and families prior to that but actually started his working life as a scientist in neurophysiology at Auckland Hospital.  As well as writing and speaking, John is frequently on radio and television.

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