How do I convince my child....?

How do I convince my child....?

Bed time was strict when I was a kid, even when we were teens. I disliked this and whined about it on many occasions. This was non-negotiable. My Mom would say, " I am sorry but I need my quiet time, and so does your father. I know you don't like it but we need our peace and so do you." The fact that she said she was sorry and told me why helped; I could understand that she needed her peace.

I was asked recently a few "how do I convince my child" questions. For example, how do I convince my child to hand his phone in at night? How do I convince my child to do the dishes?

My Mom, wise mother of eleven, would have an answer for you and so do I. YOU DON'T CONVINCE, you don't ask if it is okay with them, you simply state this is the way it is, and you give a reason why. The reality is that asking your teen if it is okay sets you up for an argument when the child says no. You already know that they don’t want to give in their phone, or you wouldn’t be negotiating with them in the first place. Train yourself to state things in sentence form, while acknowledging your teen's feelings. This helps your teen feel understood, but still, communicates that this is a non-negotiable.

For example, " I am sorry you can't have screens in your room, I understand that you would like this, but I happen to know it disrupts your sleep and it is unhealthy. You can have your phone and the computer in the morning."

Yes, they will complain but only for a short while because they will like the clarity and the break.... trust me it works.

If they don't agree, remember a phone is a privilege. You pay, you are the parent, and yes there are non-negotiable subjects, and a screen in the room should be one of them. 

—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife