WFMW: Don’t Ask, Just Tell

wfmw2 I’m joining in with Shannon’s Works-for-me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer.   For a multitude of solutions to a plethora of problems, stop by her blog.

For many, this tip will seem like a no-brainer, but I keep witnessing scenes between parent/caretaker and child that just scream out to me that too many of you don’t know this yet.

When you are in a situation where you need a child to do something, don’t ask them if they want to do it, tell them to do it.

Example: It is lunch time, you need the child to wash his hands.   Don’t ask, “Johnny, do you want to wash your hands so we can eat lunch?”   Because, you’re not really meaning to ask him if he wants to wash his hands, you want to tell him that he needs to wash his hands.   So, tell him!   “Johnny, it’s time to wash your hands.”   If you get push back from Johnny about not wanting to wash his hands before lunch, you can deal with the issue of disobedience.   Rather than trying to get him to say “yes” to a question that wasn’t really supposed to be a question.

Same goes for when you are in a store and it’s time to leave.   Don’t ask Tiffany if she wants to go home – tell Tiffany, “Honey, it’s time to go.”

Ditto for potty-training Paul.   Don’t ask Paul if he wants to go potty – tell Paul, “Hey, it’s time to go potty.”

Same thing for the kids in the Sunday school class.   Don’t ask if they want to listen to the Bible story – tell them, “Children, it’s time to listen to today’s Bible story.”

Don’t ask, just tell – works for me!

For other WFMW posts  like Decadent Hot Cocoa, Organizing Spices, Cookie Baking Edition, Gun Safety for Kids, Doing It Every Day, Reading Suggestions, and taming a Stinky Sink ~ click here.

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9 thoughts on “WFMW: Don’t Ask, Just Tell

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. This drives me nuts! I have never understood why people think it makes sense to beg and plead with little children. I suppose people don’t realize what they are doing, or else (I would hope) they wouldn’t do it! My daughter is only 9 months old, and I already find myself wording things incorrectly. I’m glad I notice it and pray I can get it corrected!!

  2. I have to echo what Rachel says!
    I had to learn these things in parenting class— it sounds as though you are a professional mom!

  3. That is soo true! I used to ask sometimes when mine were young and somebody asked me ‘why do you ask’ and it made me realize what I was doing. Another thing I STILL do that bugs me to death is I’ll TELL what we’re gonna do..yes even for teens we have to do that sometimes…. lol and then say ‘ok?’. Grrr I am asking her permission. *sigh* But I try! I think I am trying to affirm that she heard, but it comes off as asking permission. lol

    Thanks for the comment on my blog today. It’s always nice to ‘meet’ new people. : )

  4. That is right. We need our children to obey. To many parents are soft on their children. There is a time to ask kids if they want something but when it comes to doing a task that you need them to do it is good training. They need to know responsibility and how to work together.

  5. Amen. I think I’m going to have my husband read this, because he’s SO guilty. “Come on, Zach, do you want to take a nap?” What do you think he’s going to say?????

  6. I hear you on this one! Especially with the potty training, if we asked our son if he needed to go potty, he immediately would tell us, “No” and then minutes later he’d have an accident. We learned quickly that it went much better if we simply told him, “It time to go potty now” and didn’t take “no” for an answer! 🙂

    By the way, thank you for your prayers. They are much appreciated. 🙂

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