Quick Tip

Don't Gloat When Your Kids Admit You're Right


“I hate it when that happens,” my daughter said in response to my son’s confession: “dang it, mom, you were right.”

I love it when that happens!

It’s late, and my son is pounding out a paper (I still haven’t gotten him to stop counting the number of words out loud). He’s in the room with me – a strategy he chose to try to keep himself focused. But he’s starting to get tired, like the energizer bunny running out of batteries. He knows he needs to finish the paper, so he reluctantly turns to me for a little suggestion.

“Any ideas about how I can get my brain going again, Mom?”

I smile. I try to keep the smug out of it. I answer, simply, in my best matter-of-fact tone: try a few push-ups.

So what’s the coaching tip here? It’s not, actually, to use push-ups to help kids activate the brain, though that is a terrific strategy, and I highly recommend it! Pull-up bars are great, too.

No, this tip is about HOW to respond when your kids actually learn something from you. This is critical: DO NO say “I told you so” with your tone of voice. Take it in stride. You can high-five yourself later, when no one’s watching. But for now – just nod, say something inane like, “glad it worked for you, kiddo,” and keep your impish grins to yourself!

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