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Ask Dr. Tseday: April 3, 2009

FT from Mpls., MN asks: I took the suggestion of another psychologist and began to explain to my children why I ask them to do certain things so that they do it. Well, it’s not working. I’m getting in more and more arguments and fights with them. Any suggestions about how to get them to do things?

Dr. Tseday responds: Your relationship with your children is not an equal one, so you do not owe them anything. Don’t explain anything to them (even if you did, they are too young to understand and follow your reasoning). If you want them to do things, simply tell them to do it. When they ask you why, say, “because I told you so.” Giving them an explanation weakens your position as the “powerhouse” of the family. What are you going to do the day they come up with better reasoning? Do not set yourself up for failure.

About the author

Dr. Tseday is a clinical psychologist and one of the country's leading experts in marriage, relationships, and self development. She advocates a unique and at times controversial approach to the dynamics of marriage and personal development, the necessary element for a successful relationship. Read more »

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