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Children need to learn and experience for themselves. If we’re always rushing to show them how to do something, they’ll simply let us and won’t try for themselves. Start with Book 1 ‘Being a Parent’ which you can download FREE immediately!

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PostHeaderIcon My Son Won’t Do Anything!

Dear Supernanny,

My 13-year old son is totally uncooperative! It doesn’t matter what I ask him to do, he just says he’ll do it later. All he wants to do is sit in front of his computer or Nintendo or whatever he wants to do and I’m really at the end of my tether continually asking and getting nowhere.

I really don’t want him to grow up to be a person who can’t do anything for himself, like my husband, whose mother did everything for him.

Please help!

Karen, Donegal

Supernanny replies:

Unfortunately, with the age of IT came the age of the children who preferred to sit indoors playing electronic games. But it’s not all their fault. As parents, we’ve become accustomed to using television and these games as ‘babysitters’ from an early age, because we know it keeps them quiet, where we know they are and out of our hair!

It requires time and effort to encourage children to do other things, which develops the skills they need to become self-sufficient adults. A firm hand is required about the amount of time they spend on computers and games but once you make the rules, you must stick to them. Therefore if you say, they are allowed to spend half an hour a day on their Nintendo, you must adhere to that and not allow them to go over that time. It’s like anything else, children need boundaries and this has to be one of them.

If you want your son to do some jobs for you or even his homework, you could simply say that unless those jobs or homework is done first, there will be no computer or whatever it is he wants to do.

At the same time, it means taking the time to involve your son in activities, such as cooking, which most children really enjoy. Supervised outdoor games, eg, football, judo, karate or learning a musical instrument draws out their creativity and gets them away from those electronic games.

Years ago, there wasn’t this problem; children went out to play, got plenty of fresh air and ran themselves into tiredness, which kept them fit and healthy. Nowadays, we have to keep a handle on their activities and firmly encourage new pastimes for them to learn, and learn to enjoy.

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“I found the overall content of the course to be comprehensive and wide-ranging, with very valuable practical exercises.”

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Featured Book
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The last book in the series looks at styles of parenting and the effectiveness of each. It also looks at possible causes when the 4-part I challenge doesn’t work. We bring in the ‘soft no’, which is another alternative.
What are the possible causes of the ‘4-part I challenge’ not being effective? This particular skill may not work if it was your problem and not the child’s or if you were not being congruent. If you behave aggressively rather than assertively you may not get the desired result either.

When all else fails, you can save energy with the ‘soft no’. This skill can be used when you really don’t want to negotiate and you just want them to do as you ask. This can be used in potentially dangerous situations or when you’re just too tired to be bothered.

Finally, we conclude with reaching agreements with your children and then making sure they stick to them. This could be regarding simple issues such as leaving lights on, to more serious things like coming home later than agreed.

Book 12 – Being Firm and Gentle
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