As Soon As…

Do you ever feel discouraged when you ask your kids to do something and receive attitude or flat out non-compliance in return. It is easy for all of us to get discouraged, or even angry, when we spend a lot of time and effort trying to provide the necessities of life for our kids when we get responses like, “I don’t want to do it; you do it” Or, “I do it later.”

Unfortunately for us, I’ll do it later doesn’t seem to go over very well when our boss asks us to do something. So why should we create a make-believe world for our kids by allowing less of them? The answer is we shouldn’t. But we need to be careful with the approach we take. If we come at our children with demands and orders they are likely to resist or become irritating.

Would you like a little trick that seems to work pretty well to get kids to do the things they don’t naturally want to do (such as clean up after themselves or do their chores). Try the as soon as technique.

This is how it works. “Sweetie, you can watch the movie as soon as your room is clean.” Or, “I will be happy to read stories to you tonight as soon as your pajamas are on and your teeth are brushed and as long as it is before 8 o’clock.”

Will there be whining and complaining, probably. Does that matter, not really, because it is very easy to become a broken record and just repeat “as soon as your room is clean” “as soon as your room is clean” “as soon as your room is clean” over and over and over again without putting much emotion into it.


Shiloh Lundahl, LCSW Child and Family Therapist Gilbert and Mesa Arizona

Shiloh Lundahl, LCSW, is a child and family therapist in Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona.  He is the founder of Parent Arizona and Counseling Services and is part of the Arizona Family Institute.

He provides parenting classes using the Love and Logic curriculumclasses for parents of children with ADHDstep-parenting classes, and advanced trainings for foster and adoptive parents.  He also provides in-home therapy in Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Chandler, and Tempe, 

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