Does your child ask the same question over and over again? Does your child keep asking you for something until you give up and give in? Child behavior and parenting coach Traci Gaffney has a different parenting perspective on responding to a child’s questions. Maybe parents should be grateful that children come to the parent with their “asking” voice. Children do go through a developmental phase when they ask more questions. Whether it’s to manipulate or to learn, at least they are asking.
Ask Six Times!
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” W.C. Fields
We have all heard this quote before. Last year I was in a personal growth course where they said, “Ask six times.” It made me think of this quote, and also caused me to wonder why most people do not ask several times, and why we train our children to stop asking.
Think about it for a moment … when your kids ask for something, how many times do you “allow” them to ask before getting upset and annoyed? Is it once, twice, three times? Could it be SIX times? Probably not. We actually teach our children NOT to ask, not to persist, not to persevere to get what they want. I’m not talking about being harassing or making demands. I’m talking about healthy requests, asking for what they want. If you think about it, this is exactly what happened to us. We were told to stop asking.
Keeping that in mind, I would ask you to consider to yourself, “How has that served me?” Do you go for a job interview and take the first “no” and stop there? Do you ask your friends or family for what you need and stop asking if you don’t get it the first time? Do you call on an ad to buy something, and if they don’t answer or call you back, do you drop it?
Sometimes people get busy. Sometimes people are in a mood. Sometimes the timing is bad. Sometimes there is no reason at all that we get the response (or no response) that we get. If we stop asking, then we give up; we move on. What if we persevered and continued asking for what we want? What if we had that mentality, the thought that it IS okay to keep asking? If you don’t get the job you want, ask again! If you don’t get the return call you’re looking for, call again! Call six times. Ask six times. Be authentic. Be true to you. Be respectful. Keep asking!
This is something that we undo in our children. We teach them NOT to ask more than once. “No means no.” Well, sometimes that is true. What if, however, instead of condemning them for asking again, we actually praised them for their persistence and applaud them for their focus, drive, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, and passion! In life, we DO need to ask for what we want. And, sometimes we have to ask many times in order to get it. That is SO okay!
So, this month, and for the year ahead, let’s make a new rule … asking is a great thing. Smile at your kids, applaud them for their passion and persistence, and still answer with whatever the answer is. No pressure. No anger. Just acceptance of what is. You don’t have to change. And … you may change. The day may bring new information. You never know. Sometimes we can’t give something today, but in two days we would be happy to give that. What if they NEVER asked again? They would learn that they must give up on their dreams, their goals, their passions. We do not want to create that for them. Have you given up on your dreams, goals and passions?
So, smile and be GRATEFUL that your children have the spunk to ask, ask, and ask again. They are learning to be creative, persistent, focused, and they are learning that it is absolutely okay to dream AND okay to not get everything right now. There are many wonderful lessons to learn in this experience.
I challenge YOU to begin ASKING SIX TIMES for the things YOU want. Reignite your dreams, your visions, your passions. ASK AGAIN! Doors are opening all the time!
Remember … “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” Vince Lombardi
Traci Gaffney has three children, is a parenting coach, speaker and author, and is the Founder of A Loving Way, a Wellness Advocacy for Children and Parents (www.alovingway.com). She can be reached at 800-647-1171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.