You’ll hear me mention this a lot, about talking with your kids rather than telling your kids. And it’s sort of a mind shift, but if you tell them… I sort of envision it like this, you’re going “You. Will. Do. As.”… They actually use a similar gesture, except their finger’s not pointing down. Their finger’s pointing up, inside, thinking “yeah right, whatever you want to do.” Ok? So the more you can talk, rather than tell, the better life will be.
Now, when the conflict is on, when it’s full on, you’ve obviously got to just deal with that immediate conflict. Separate them, you know, tie one down, or whatever it is you need to do. And then, as soon as it’s reasonably possible, you’ve got to sit down and say “Hey, we need to talk about this.”
What we used to do as a family — and I don’t know where we got the idea from — but we used to have family conferences. So any member of the family, and we had three children under three. They were all really close in age. So we used to have this thing called family conference. And any of them could say — parents, kids — “we need a family conference.” And then the first thing you would say, right, “What’s on the agenda?” And they always wanted on the agenda when they’re that certain age, pocket money, and bedtimes. And I used to say every time, to be exact… it became a definite Dad joke, but every time I’d say “Ok who’s getting paid too much? We can cut it down. And, obviously you want to go to be earlier that’s fine by me.” You know, it’s about all that…