Thad and I hardly say "No" to our kids anymore. I've become a master at catching myself right before the word shoots out of my mouth. When one of us does slip, it's because we're too pooped from the hard work involved in changing our behavior. (Braun's analysis is spot-on: "Raising children is re-ally about raising parents.")
I borrow liberally from all three experts -- even Fay's "say yes" approach is helpful if I'm divinely in-spired -- but I'm most partial to "No" Strategy #3, which makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, I'm not totally screwing up this parenting thing after all.
With less whining, fighting, and bad behavior (and fewer consequences), our house has become a noticeably cheerier place. Blair actually woke up on Day 7 and said, "Today is a happy day." Maybe that was because without being told "No" every other second, her unbridled confidence had returned. Or perhaps it was because she somehow thought she could weasel me into a Twizzler for breakfast. Either way, I'll take it.
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