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Displaying items by tag: boundaries

You want your child to be more polite and respectful.

But how do you get that? And how do you get her to feel inspired to take on that challenge?

Robin shows you the results of a problem solving session where she rated herself at a 4 out of 10 in being respectful at the beginning of the session, and ended off with a big smile and inspired by the possibilty of being 10 out of 10 and a role model for her family!


Published in P-solving

Have you had that situation where you apply a skill and it doesn't work?

So you apply a variation of the skill, and it still doesn't work? Your child replies with, "I don't want to..."

Well this happened to Mari and she asked me what she could do...

This video was my reply, taking her deeper into the insights of the skill of "Setting the boundary and giving choices within the boundary."

length: 13:25

Published in Boundaries

 I got a phone call from a mother who was nearly in tears. She said, "An 11 year old boy had a fight with my son and strangled him leaving bruise marks on his neck. My son is a nervous wreck now. And I want revenge! I feel like a tigress whose cub has been hurt."

The first time they don't keep the boundary I get frustrated that they didn't listen to me.
The second time I start complaining that they don't take me seriously.
The third time I get really angry and start threatening them.
The fourth time I lose it.
The fifth time I look to see how I can punish them. Maybe that will teach them a lesson.
The sixth time.... oh my...already on the 6th time... I just give up. Children will be children.

The following video clip shows how and why this happens. It doesn't have to be this way.


Published in Boundaries

To put a boundary in place with your children depends on your skills in the following three areas.

  1. The Detail
  2. The Delivery
  3. The Diligence

Otherwise you end up having to resort to shouting, threats, punishment and manipulation. I choose not to do that in my household. Watch this video clip to find out more about setting really great boundaries in a dignified and respectful way.

Published in Boundaries
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How do I deal with a demanding child?

This is the question we received.

Hi Robin, thank you for all the updates and reminders. I am currently having a problem where my child always wants her own way – she is 6 and a half.

An example is:

We are in the car and she wants track 4 to play on the CD, but track 5 is playing, that finishes and you put track 4 on but she does not want that now – she also sulks badly. 

I think it is just trying to deal with her not getting her own way?  Help it is driving me mad!

And this is the answer I gave.

Here are my thoughts on your question. Some of them you may not agree with, or like, but just look to see what might be true for you, and work for you. I am not saying this is the case but this thinking has helped me deal with similar instances.

The most empowering understanding I have about the behaviour that I see in my child is that by the decisions and boundaries I have put in place ( or not), results in what I see.

We have come from a society where our parents just told us what to do and there was trouble if we didn't do it. There was not much space for negotiation.

Our current society view seems a bit more enlightened that we say we wish for empowered children (and we believe we do), but we are no way prepared for the results of an empowered child (like you are experiencing). By definition, an empowered child is a child who believes that their opinions,  wants and needs now have a right to be fulfilled (or at least heard).

And we create this sense of empoweredness when we give our children choices, or when we ask them questions about what they want, or what they think. Every time we change our actions after havening listened and considered our children's requests, we create an experience that if this happens this time, it will happen the next and so they will continue.

Now this I think is great from a sense of I want my child to be empowered. But it is useful to understand the following two points very carefully:

1) On the journey to being a considerate and empowered person,  you will always go from being disempowered, through to destructively empowered first ( i call this the vomit stage as they just vomit their demands and opinions with little tact or consideration of others). And then with skills and intelligent parenting from you, you can develop their skills in being constructively empowered. So the fact that she may seem bossy, arrogant or brat like is part of the process. But the length of time she stays there will depend on your skills on successfully guiding her back to being constructively empowered while not crushing the sense of empoweredness she has just developed.  (and that is where all my skills and training comes in, and your levels of emotionally intelligence to work with what comes up for you)

2) The sooner you take responsibility for your child's behaviour, the sooner you can do something about it.  And what I mean by this is that the sooner you see that her "expression" of the behaviour is a result of how you have modelled, taught, and interacted with her, then you will see that you can change some of your skills, and you will see the immediate result in her. In other words, she is not to 'blame'.

For example, I recently spent some time with a family where they are really trying to get their daughter to be polite and be respectful.

They had had a great conversation with her about saying please and thank you. One of the skill they chose to use was if their daughter asked them for something without saying 'please', then they would rub their head as a sign that she needed to rephrase the request. This avoids the blame and accusation of "You didn't say please. So I am not going to give it to you etc"

But within 2 minutes, when she asked them for something and forgot to say please, the parents had also forgot what to do as they themselves didn't even hear that their daughter had not said please. So maybe 1 out of 5 times were they aware that she did not say please.

Now my ears are finely tuned to 'pleases and thankyous' so I heard every time they didn't. So it was quite easy to see that their chances of getting their daughter to learn to be consistent in saying please and thankyou is limited to the awareness of her parents. Now there is no right nor wrong in this. But it shows that if they want to really get to grips with this, they themselves need to take what they are wanting more seriously.  

I have also learnt over time that there is a big different between what we say is important to us, and what our behaviour shows is important to us.

If this other family says that being polite is important, but they themselves don't even hear it when someone is being impolite, then I don't really get that being polite is as important to them as they SAY it is. So out of this I have a formula which says that children will only take boundaries as seriously as their parent takes it.

Now although this may not apply directly to your situation, the point of my story was more about taking the responsibility for the results you see with your daughter.

Once you have done that, then let's see what you can do to change those results.

My core suggestion to you is to see how you interact with her in these situations (both when not getting her way, and when she sulks) in a way that does not trigger your emotional roller coaster (ie look to responding opposed to reacting). Also, keep sharing what you are needing (or wanting her to do, or how to ask you for something, or how to ask you for something such that you are more likely to meet her requests).

Look at this distinction:

"Don't interrupt me when I am talking. That's really rude of you."


"I get upset when I am interrupted and I haven't finished talking yet. Please can you wait until I have finished."

The second phrase is far more emotionally intelligent, less accusational and is more general (ie I am upset when ANYONE interrupts me, not just YOU".

Always look to see how it is your responsibility to re-train her in what you are needing.

Components which I think would be useful to you:

  1. Acknowledging and working with emotions
  2. From punishment to Guidance
  3. Problem Solving

hope that helps.



Please share your insights, your inspiration or your comments below:

This will help you understand your parenting style better.

A few weeks ago (17th May, you can see it here)I posted a blog on how you can do the DISC personality profile test (worth $250) for free. And below are some interpretations on how those scores relate to your parenting style and why some of that 'FLOW' in the home may not be working as well as you want.

I am a high 'S' and 'C' type whcih means I love stability, routine and attention to detail. No wonder I am good at setting boundaries and ensuring they are kept. My profile is also great at doing it the correct way the first time (great for getting cooperation and discipline).

But I'm a low 'I' which means I am more introverted and 'cool'. The children find me less approachable, and difficult to read. It now makes sense why I spend so much time on learning communication skills because I was never a natural. I had to learn all the tricks so I could get the results I need.

Here are my last 2 days of work on finding insights and material so you can interpet your own scores form the perspective of parenting and better understand why you parent the style you do, and how you can avoid some of the mistakes you didn't know the causes of.

Published in Being a parent
  • Your child needs to sleep but the siblings keep them awake
  • You want to put the baby to sleep but you keep being disturbed.
  • While you are with the the one sibling, the other also wants you to spend time with them.

In this video clip taken from the online session on Setting Effective Boundaries, Amanda shares how she decided to take on ensuring her youngster got the sleep that she needed. And it made a HUGE difference to her in time and energy.

Diligence is the third criteria needed for setting effective boundaries.Detail is the first, and Delivery is the second. Without these three criteria all being met, your boundary will not last.


Please share your insights, your inspirations or comments below:

Published in Boundaries

I watch this clip to remind me of what happens when children don't have consistent boundaries. And if you feel you are in this same position, then the session on Setting Effectvie boundaries will really help you out.