~ Questions and Answers ~
Mike: What do you do when a child just will not do what you ask the child to do?
Reason with the child! Explain! Ask the child to talk to you, to say what he or she thinks! Above all, remember to work with the child rather than against the child. Be on the child's side because you are, aren't you? You, as a parent, are hardly against the child. Perhaps some parents have read that hitting the child is the way to teach the child, but please think about that. What is a better way to teach a child, hitting or talking and explaining? Why act as if you are against the child when really you want to help the child be the best he or she can be!
If e parent works with the child instead of against the child, what you asked is not likely to even happen. The child will know that you want to help and explain and make the child happy with life.
Respecting the child as a worthy human being from the moment the child is born helps the child realize that he or she is, indeed, worthy. Isn't that what a parent wants? Some parents, unfortunately, have been told that obedience is at the top of the list. Oh no. Think about it. The child a parent brings into the world is not an unworthy slave to the parent, but a brand new human being ready to learn from the parent and either be a fine, happy, secure, kind member of humanity or the opposite. The parent really almost chooses. Maybe really truly chooses.
Sara: I need your book now. My children are testing me...testing me!!!
Please try this, it will work. If they are "testing" you, then take the test. You need to do that! Ask your child to come sit by you on a sofa and talk. Do not be hurried. This is important. You care about helping your child, don't you? If so, please do this! You will be glad you did. Ask your child to talk, to tell you whatever the child feels is bothering him or her. Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen to anything the child wants to talk about. Say nothing. Just listen. Then hug the child. Maybe say you are sorry about whatever the child says has been bothering him. Maybe drink some lemonade together then or a Coca Cola or have some cookies together. Listen some more. Say you are sorry you have caused any unhappiness for the child, say you want to be on his or her side, and say you want to be a help from now on. Say you can change! Say you want to do that because you want him or her to be happy.
(If, in the past, your relationship with child had been at all unpleasant, take the blame for it because it is probably your fault. If from the beginning, the child had known you want to help him or her always, that you are on the same side, that you are not planning to be a dictator but a caring mother who wanted to make her child happy with life, then the child would not be "testing" you now. Instead you would be having fun.)
And then, smiling, happily, say you are glad to be listening and hope you had not been unkind. Say you want to be kind always and perhaps you need to change. Then ask your child to remind you if you ever act grumpy with him or her. Apologize. Start over. Ask your child to help you be a better mother. Say you really mean that. And then start enjoying being really kind, really helpful, and really interested in having your child enjoy wonderful life. Be different from what you were.
You will be glad. Have fun. Enjoy every minute with your child. It is definitely, 100 percent possible, but up to you, the parent, to make it happen.