what to do when your child refuses to go somewhere

“I’M NOT GOING!!!” my 8 year old screamed at me. Tears started streaming down his face.

We had plans to see some friends and were all ready to walk out the door.

Except for Finn.

‘Ugh…this sucks!! Of course he doesn’t care about what I want to do’, I thought.

Then, I stopped myself. That wasn’t going to help me get him to cooperate.

I looked at him, really looked at him. Ah, of course he doesn’t want to go. He just got home and is probably tired and had another idea as to how the night was supposed to go. I felt compassion for him in that moment. 

“You don’t want to go huh, buddy.” I suggested.

“No! You never told me we were going somewhere tonight!” he sobbed.

And he was right, I forgot to tell him. And I know prepping my kids in advance of an outing is KEY to getting their buy in.

I could see he was starting to shut down as he ran to the couch and curled up in a ball, still sobbing. I followed him.

“You’re right babe, I’m sorry about that, I should have told you earlier. How can we make it fun for you to come with us? What do you need?”

“I don’t know.” he blubbered.

But I did. Or at least I had some ideas. 

We had been here before with Finn, many times. I had a pretty good idea why he was struggling. 

So I offered some solutions: bring his favorite food with us (he has anxiety around not knowing what food will be served), bring along a fun toy or game, and ask him if he had other ideas about how the night was going to go and see if there was a compromise to include what he wanted to do.

As we talked, he slowly perked up. He stopped crying. 

Then he got up, grabbed his toys and started getting ready, still in a mood, but more accepting of the plans.

The night turned out to be amazing. He had a blast.

But it wouldn’t have been a fun evening if I had stuck with my first thought. 

We would have fought, I would have yelled or threatened and he would have dug his feet in deeper.

Maybe we would have made it there, but we would have arrived stressed out and upset, having disconnected from each other.

This is the power of changing your perspective. This is the power of not making what your kids do about you. This is the power of being able to be clear headed enough to come up with solutions that work for BOTH of you and letting go of how you THINK your child should be.

And this is how you create trust and connection. Finn TRUSTED me to listen to him. He trusted that I wouldn’t belittle him or shame him and that I truly WANTED to make it work. 

So now, he more easily compromises and doesn’t resist going out as much. 

It’s simple, but it takes practice and a new perspective.

I can teach you how to do this with every resistance and power struggle your kids offer you.

From toddler to teen, it WORKS. And once you get used to it, it takes less energy and feels SO MUCH BETTER.

The way to learn how to do this is to schedule a free consult with me. We can talk about where you are frustrated with getting your kids to behave or cooperate or stop fighting you or stop being rude or disrepectful and I will give you the solution on the call. Then we will talk about how coaching in my program will get you there. 

Schedule your free 60 minute consult here.

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