To avoid shouting and nagging at children

This is taken from a book that I love, About our boys by Lucinda Neall

Boys are often overwhelmed by the size of a problem – for example, clearing away toys, tidying their bedroom or doing their homework – and then respond by doing nothing or, when they are older, by filling their time with displacement activities such as texting friends, playing computer games or listening to music. You can help them by asking them to do smaller, clearly defined amounts.

Instead of: ‘I said, ‘Clear the table!’

say: ‘Please will you put the glasses on the top rack of the dishwasher.’

Instead of: ‘I’ve asked you to tidy your room and you’re just lolling around on the bed! Do I have to do everything around here?’

say: ‘Start by taking everything off the floor.’

then: ‘That looks better already. Now put the clean clothes away and the dirty clothes in the wash.’

then: ‘Looking good! Just shut each drawer and the job’s done.’

Instead of: ‘You moan about there being no food in the house, and then can’t be bothered to help me bring it in from the car.’

say: ‘I’d like everyone to bring two carrier bags in from the car please.’

or: ‘Let’s see if we can get all the shopping into the kitchen in three journeys.’

Instead of: ‘Stop making a meal of it, it’s only eight pages!’

say: ‘Have a go at reading three pages.’

then: ‘That’s almost half! now try three more.’

then: ‘Two more pages and you’re done.’

I think what Lucinda is trying to say is it’s how we word things to boys that gets them interested. I also find they get alon better if you make a game of it all. Of course my boys are only 7 at the moment so I have yet to experience teenage boys, but have teenage girls. Can it be worse than those hormones? oh

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