A Word with You - Sept. 12, 2011


Squeezed to Obey

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Parenting is not a precise science, you might say; you don't just mix certain ingredients and get a certain reaction. In fact, it's largely experimental. But after a while you learn more creative ways to do what is right. Now you can yell, you can overpower, you can threaten them until they're bigger than you are. Or you can work through the method I came to call "The Squeeze." It's a method that steers a child to the right choice. It's also known as "The Lousy Choice" approach.

It works like this: you give your child two choices, but the one is so bad you know your child will choose the other one. Now, maybe you should have your child cover their ears in case they're listening. We wouldn't want them to know this secret. Example: I might say to my son, "Uh, look, you can do your yard work and I'll help you if you get it done before noon today or you can do it all by yourself sometime before Friday." Okay, now obviously he's gonna want to do it when he's got some help. "Okay, you can set your own study hours or I'll set them." And usually he would end up choosing where he ought to be. I mean, that works even with a grownup child like you and me.

© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.

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Originally published September 12, 2011.