5 Tricks kids use to get what they want and how to "trick" them back!
1) Screaming to get what they want.
Screaming really is a wise move from kids. They DO know when to use it to get what they want. Never give a kid anything if they are screaming for it. Why? Because if you do, they will learn that it works and they will use it on you all the time. Screaming is something we didn't tolerate right from the beginning. Like I said, if it worked one time, they will use it all the time and it will leave you feeling defeated. This is something that we took seriously right from the beginning and not it any bragging way... our kids are not screamers. They are not perfect and do get loud but they never scream to get what they want. Something we tried doing is to not panic. The kids can see panic in your eyes. They have to see in you, in your face, that screaming doesn't affect you and your decisions at all. Don't completely ignore them though unless you are willing to listen to screaming for hours. Ignoring them doesn't teach them anything. We send our kids to their room if they are screaming and frustrated. Sometimes we have to carry them to their room if they are out of control and won't go to their room themselves. We tell them that they can be frustrated and scream but they can do that in their rooms and they can come out anytime they are ready to stop screaming. This works for our kids all the time. It's a win win. Our kids get to express their emotion and frustration which is important and they get to do that in their room where other people don't have to suffer from it.
2) Screaming in public places to get what they want.
Screaming in public is our worst nightmare. We take this even more seriously than the first. They are not to scream in restaurants, mall, church and playground. First, in this day and age anything can go viral. Last thing you want is some person, who is probably not a parent, video taping your child while screaming and posting it online with a big title, "kid out of control and the mom doesn't do anything", even if you did do something. I've seen hurtful posts like this before where people are not sensitive to the moms or parents at all. They can make moms look bad. Second, screaming in public is again a wise trick kids do to get what they want. Not unless they got hurt. If our kids started screaming in the playground, we take them to the bench, talk to them and if the screaming didn't stop, we take them home. If they can't stop screaming at the restaurant, they get taken to the restroom where they can keep crying until they are ready to stop. Kids are smart, they know that we panic when they make a scene so taking them to a place where they could still express their emotion but not make a scene works for us. This could get really frustrating for the parent though. But believe me, my kids hear the words, "Do I need to take you to the restroom?" and they stop. They don't like stinky restrooms and most restaurant have that so they stop instantly. DO reward them though if they did great the rest of the night. Praise them for being able to control their emotions even when they are frustrated. This teaches them that it's ok to get frustrated when we don't get what we want, I feel that all the time too but we need to be able to control our emotions and not make a scene just to get what we want.
3) Giving you the "cute face you can't say no to" to get what they want.
Ok, this is hard. It usually works on me like a charm. All 3 of my kids have a cute face or sad face they make to hypnotize me to get what they want. I don't have a clear guidance for this one because it's the smartest thing kids do. They know that you can't say no to their cute little sad faces. LOL! All I could say is that let it work the first time but not on the second or the third. For example, they want candy and gave me the face. I give in and let them have a candy. Kids are smart so they do it again. They come back with the same face again. So, I just give them a hug or a kiss and say not this time buddy:)
4) Asking dad for 2nd opinion to get what they want.
We need to work as a team. Kids know who is likely to say yes. So they ask mom first and then dad for a second opinion. My husband is better at this. I usually forget and end up saying yes to something he already said no to. So, ask the kids if they already asked dad or mom about this, ask what the answer was and agree. Because if we don't work as a team as parents the kids will win. Next thing you know, they got what they wanted and you and your husband somehow ended up mad at each other. Kids can do that! They are smart!
5) Telling you that you are the worst mom ever and you don't really love them to get what they want - This doesn't work for any mom or dad. We do end up feeling bad or we end up re thinking our parenting skills after hearing them say this. If this happens, try to think of all the good things you've done for them and assure yourself that saying no doesn't make you a bad mom.
Happy parenting! Please do share your "tricks" as well :)