In the previous article we discussed that good parents, in contrast to bad parents, build their communication with children on requests. Good parents ask, not demand. Good parents know what is happening in the child’s soul when they ask, and that they must be consistent with their requests. What else do good parents know about requests?
Know that the yes response is an act of goodwill
When there is no fear or threat in the request, children have to discover their good will to respond yes to your request. The invisible work of soul, the feeling of giving goodness is a very joyful spiritual experience. It feels good to say yes without outside pressure! The soul of a child makes an effort towards you, even if the child can’t or doesn’t want to fulfill your request.
Do not expect obedience
The best thing about requests (and what seems to be the worst thing for bad parents) is that requests do not require obedience! You ask a child to do something. You voluntarily agree that since it is a request your child doesn’t have to do what you ask. Your child may, or may not respond to your request. It’s your child’s choice. So, you don’t expect obedience in the first place. If your child doesn’t do what you ask – there is no offense, no pain, no humiliation. You asked, not demanded! (If your demand is not responded to then your authority is challenged, and you would have to react, perhaps starting a power struggle. Is it worth it?)
Be ready to respond Yes
Once you start using requests in communication with your child, he learns from you and starts requesting things from you. Here is an important note: be ready to respond Yes. “Dad, may I play …? Yes. “May I take …” Yes. “May I say …?” Yes. Say No as little as possible. Be a Yes-parent, then it will be easy to have a Yes-child.