1. Tell them what you’ve learned. Some kids will be interested in the information, while others will be bored. Meet them where they are. 
  2. Ask for their perspective. Care how what you’re telling them affects them.
  3. Give them control over solutions.  Be letting them try different ways and NOT being successful. You can always revisit if things don’t work. 




Angela and her son Jonathan had been fighting more lately, and the more they fight, the worse his behavior becomes. Angela realizes he probably has a lot of Yuck inside, so she decides to teach him about Yuck dumps. 

Angela: Jonathan, it seems like I’ve been making you mad lately.  
Jonathan: Well you’ve been telling me I can’t do anything lately. 
Angela (knows this isn’t true but also knows that she needs to respect his perspective or he won’t be open to listening to her): I can see why that would upset you. 
Jonathan doesn’t say anything. 
Angela: I also know that when I have a lot of frustration inside of me, it starts to build up. And then it comes out on other people. Do you think that happens to you sometimes?
Jonathan: I don’t know?
Angela: I just think that all that frustration has to come out.  
Jonathan doesn’t say anything.  
Angela: So I was wondering if we could do something together?  
Jonathan: What?  
Angela: I was wondering if we could talk about some of the things that frustrate you… like the fact that it fells like I always tell you you can’t do anything. 
Jonathan. You DO always tell me that I can’t do anything. 
Angela: OK. I think if you’re holding that inside, it’s just going to get bigger and bigger. So can you tell me about those things like that that frustrate you?  
Jonathan: When?  
Angela: Well maybe we could do it at bedtime. I’ll sit with you for a little while and you can tell me what frustrated you that day. And I’ll just listen.  
Jonathan: OK.  
Angela: And maybe at the end we can have you throw out that Yuck somehow.  
Jonathan: What do you mean?  
Angela: It’s up to you… You could pretend to spit it out… or put it on a piece of paper and throw out the paper. 
Jonathan: …Or pretend to throw it up? And make gross noises?  
Angela (laughs): Yes, you can do that.  
Jonathan: Yeah!  
Angela: So you’re up for this?  
Jonathan: Yeah, I guess so.  
Angela: Let’s start tonight. 
Jonathan: Fine.


Your child denies that what you suggest will help 

 What it may mean: When kids are not open to problem-solving (or are resistant to your solutions), they’re in Yuck.
What you can say to yourself:
“Something about what we’re talking about is upsetting them. I want to continue the conversation, but it won’t work when they’re not open to it. I can’t force them to be open. All I can do is offer my help.”
What you can say to them:
“It seems like nothing will work for you. If you ever do want to talk about ways to get rid of the Yuck that’s inside, I’m always happy to listen. And I promise not to lecture… just listen.”