Guest Expert

How Do I Get My Kid to Do What I Ask?

One of the questions we hear frequently from parents is some variation of, “How Do I Get My Kid to Do What I Ask?” It’s a common source of frustration for many of us – constantly repeating ourselves, feeling disappointed when our kids fail to follow through, and worrying that they’ll ever be able to become reliable adults. And then there are the epic meltdowns that just make everything worse. The truth is that we just don’t know HOW to help them learn to be responsible without exploding.

In this 20 minute interview, Dr. Katz describes the problem in detail, and then teaches us a 4 step process to manage it, which is detailed in the book, “Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach.

He explains, “Kids will do well if they can. But if they're not doing well, our job is to figure out what's getting in their way so we can help them…Kids want to be loved by their parents. Kids want to be liked by their teachers and their peers. But if that's not happening, if they're getting into trouble, you’ve got to take the stance that something's not working. Because if they could do it, they would be doing it.”

When a kid gets upset, Dr. Katz explains, “Something's not going right. And they start screaming or yelling, or being defiant. And what does the parent typically do? The parent says, ‘You need to do this. You must do this. And if you don't do this, there's a time out. Or there's going to be a loss of privileges.’ Something like that. And what happens next? It just gets worse….It escalates. The kid goes into meltdown.”

But honestly, it’s our behaviors as parents that tend to make things worse. Dr Katz says, “When the kid is most frustrated and upset, and skills are not there to handle it, what do they learn that adults do? Adults push their button one more time until they explode. There's no learning that takes place when the child is having a meltdown. You may think that, ‘We have to enforce the rule. They can't get away with this.’ But if you do that, they're not learning. They're not thinking. Nobody can think when they have an explosion. They've melted down. There's no learning going on.”

So if you’re one of millions parents asking the age-old question, “how can I get my kids to do what I ask?” – tune in to hear Dr. Katz share a 4 step solution that is simpler than you might think!

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