Healthy Hassling* (5-18-14)

Today’s Parenting Tip:

DECIDE:   To learn more about healthy hassling.

*(Thanks to Jean Illsley Clarke for writing about healthy hassling in SELF ESTEEM A FAMILY AFFAIR.)

PRACTICE:   Today, explain healthy hassling to a friend and ask her to try hassling you, so you can see how your child might think and feel when you hassle him.

Agree on a signal to use when either of you is ready to stop hassling. Remind your friend that healthy hassling:

  • Is to exercise your thinking muscles. It is not about someone being right and someone else being wrong.
  • Does not permit any name-calling or criticizing.
  • If either of you begins to feel angry or upset, it is time to use the signal and stop.

If your friend agrees to hassle, you make a statement about a topic (the neighborhood garage sale, a household project, etc.). For example, “I’m not going to participate in the sale this year.”

Have your friend suggest another way to think about what you said. The idea is for your friend to challenge your way of thinking and suggest other ways to think about things.

Go back and forth a few times so you can see how healthy hassling feels. Here is an example of how it might sound.

YOU:                “I’m not going to participate in the sale this year.”

FRIEND:          “So you don’t need to make more room for storage in your basement?”

YOU:                “I could use the storage, but I’m tired of doing all the work all by myself.”

FRIEND:          “You won’t be able to have any extra spending money for household projects, if you skip the sale.”

YOU:               “I’ll just take the money from our household account.”

FRIEND:          “Your husband will be thrilled about that, I’m sure.”

YOU:                “I think I’m done.”

FRIEND:          “OK. That was interesting. Thanks for asking me to do it with you.

Today’s Decide and Practice daily parenting tip was inspired by our featured picture book, IF I CROSSED THE ROAD.  Read the book to a child in your life each day as a reminder of what you are deciding and practicing that day.

Come back each day for another good parenting decision and how to practice it. (Each day’s activity will also be posted on the Daily Parenting Tips page for easy access.)

Read the whole story at When Are Kids Old Enough?

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