When kids want something, they’ll ask..and ask…and ask until you cave in. You can teach them to unlearn this annoying negotiation tactic by saying just three words: “Asked and Answered.”
The technique comes from parenting book author Lynn Lott and shared on the Positive Parenting Solutions blog, which writes:
The concept is simple. When seven-year-old Daniel begs to dig a giant hole in the front yard and gets “no” for an answer, chances are he’ll be back in five minutes asking again – this time with a “pleeeeeeaase” just so you know he really, really wants to dig the hole.
Instead of repeating yourself or jumping in to a lecture, avoid child nagging by getting eye to eye and follow the process below:
Step One: Ask, “Have you ever heard of ‘Asked and Answered’?” (He’ll probably say no.)
Step Two: Ask, “Did you ask me a question about digging a hole?” (He’ll say yes.)
Step Three: Ask, “Did I answer it?” (He’ll probably say, “Yes, but, I really ….”)
Step Four: Ask, “Do I look like the kind of mom/dad/teacher who will change her/his mind if you ask me the same thing over and over?” (Chances are Daniel will walk away, maybe with a frustrated grunt, and engage in something else.)
Step Five: If Daniel asks again, simply say, “Asked and Answered.” (No other words are necessary!) Once this technique has been established, these are the only words you should need to say to address nagging questions.
Both parents are going to have to be consistent in using “Asked and Answered” for it to sink in (especially for kids who are exhaustingly persistent in their badgering). Once it does though, hopefully this technique will help you stop sounding like a broken record.
Child Nagging & Negotiating | Positive Parenting Solutions