Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let My Yes, Be Yes and My No, Be No

After almost 30 years of parenting an array of complex children who have grown into now adults I learned that Yes, my no must mean no. It has to. A 'no-boundary' must be clear and visible.

Working with tough kids you could spend all day using NO and sorry to say a NO used to often blows through one ear and out the other never stopping to allow a thought.

I have learned that one must use that NO frugally because it is a precious word of great power. For atypical children/adults, especially those with brain injury it sends them to the end of a cliff in a free-fall without answers. The word NO becomes a set up for defensive behaviors.

My friend and I were comparing notes and we have both come to the same conclusion - we use YES most often, whenever we can. So NO sticks when it is needed, and we can be strong enough the stand still without bending.
  • How can we do that with tough kids who look like they are defying or challenging us?
  • How do we keep control while giving them a path of acceptance?
  • How do we use YES, so we create boundaries and don't become a doormat?

When I am asked to do something

  • I do not have time to do,
  • I don't want to do,
  • I don't know how to do.

I use the following statements:

If it is something I also want to do and it is a good idea, I make an appointment

  • Yes, we can go to the park tomorrow after you eat your lunch or after your nap. Then I remind them in the morning - Remember after your nap we get to go to the park.Yes, we can deliver those job applications, after you bring them back to me filled out. If you need help filling them out I am available right after dinner.

I provide abilities to accomplish the idea

If it is something I can't do I say so.

  • I can't do that because it is (describe behavior - cheating, lying) and I like to look at my face in the morning and say smiling "Good morning, Jodee, this will be another grand and glorious day.)

My moral standards need to stand firm.

If it is something I don't know how to do I say so.

  • I don't know how to do that, can you find out how to do that for me or maybe we can find out how to do that.

Together we can make this happen.

Share your ideas so that when a NO has to happen it can stick.