“Make me” is a phrase that is commonly used by children and teenagers to challenge authority figures such as parents or teachers. Responding to this phrase can be tricky, as it can sometimes lead to power struggles or arguments. In this article, we will provide you with some tips on how to respond to “make me” in a relaxed and effective manner.
Understand the Context
Before responding to a child or teenager who says “make me,” it’s important to understand the context in which the phrase is being used. Is the child feeling frustrated or overwhelmed? Are they testing boundaries? Understanding the context can help you respond in a way that is appropriate and effective.
When a child or teenager says “make me,” it can be easy to become frustrated or angry. However, it’s important to stay calm and maintain your composure. Responding in anger or frustration can escalate the situation and make it harder to resolve.
Use “I” Statements
Using “I” statements can help you communicate your feelings and needs in a non-confrontational way. For example, you might say “I feel frustrated when you don’t listen to me” instead of “You’re being disrespectful.”
Offering choices can help a child or teenager feel more in control and less resistant to your requests. For example, you might say “You can either clean your room now or after dinner” instead of “Clean your room right now.”
Set Clear Boundaries
Setting clear boundaries can help prevent power struggles and misunderstandings. For example, you might say “I expect you to speak to me respectfully” or “We have a rule in our house that homework comes before screen time.”
Validate Their Feelings
Validating a child or teenager’s feelings can help them feel heard and understood. For example, you might say “I understand that you’re feeling frustrated right now” or “It’s okay to feel angry, but we still need to follow the rules.”
Using humor can help defuse tense situations and make it easier to communicate. For example, you might say “I’ll make you a deal – you do your homework and I’ll do the dishes” or “If you clean your room, I’ll give you a high-five.”
While it’s important to stay calm and non-confrontational, it’s also important to stay firm when necessary. If a child or teenager is being disrespectful or breaking rules, it’s important to enforce consequences. For example, you might say “I’m sorry, but if you don’t follow the rules, you won’t be able to use your phone for the rest of the day.”
When a child or teenager makes a positive change in their behavior, be sure to acknowledge it and provide positive reinforcement. For example, you might say “I noticed that you cleaned your room without being asked – that shows responsibility and maturity.”
Responding to “make me” can be challenging, but with the right approach, it can be a learning opportunity for both you and the child or teenager. By staying calm, using “I” statements, offering choices, setting clear boundaries, validating their feelings, using humor, staying firm when necessary, and acknowledging positive changes, you can respond to “make me” in a relaxed and effective manner.