If I got a dollar for every time I said:
“Thank you for politely listening right away!”
I’d start saying it all the time.
Not because it was true, but because it would be nice to be a salaried parent. And I’d be saying something that–when true–probably makes you feel like a really amazing mom.
Professional parenting. Boom.
I am actually a professional at asking my kids six times, using the tonal pattern:
1. so nice, so polite / 2. nice, polite / 3. pretty nice, drop polite / 4. edgy, but sane / 5. threatening loss of privileges with moderate loss of perspective / 6. yelling in that voice I promised I would never use.
That last one is the one that usually works, but I never jump straight to step 6; I am a true professional, and I stick to the system.
Ella currently is in a one-week camp at an MMA studio (which was my idea, you might have guessed; I was hoping it was ‘make you listen and be somewhat coordinated’ boot camp for small people). She described one of her teachers as “less chance-y” than me. Apparently, whereas I give lots and lots of chances to listen before I dole out punishment, Ms. Sarah asks once and then you’re sitting on your knees facing the wall.
Props, Ms. Sarah. Come over anytime–I’ve got a kids’ chore list and a dollar with your name on it.