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. 


 Samantha was trying to help her daughter Miranda stop resisting showers so much. She realized that one of the reasons Miranda was so resistant was because showers were “boring.” Since she couldn’t let Miranda stop showering, she knew she had to talk to her about dealing with the fact that it was boring.

Samantha: Hey Miranda, I totally get why you hate showers so much.
Miranda: They’re dumb.
Samantha (trying to be lighthearted): Maybe they are! I’d be fine if everyone around me stunk…
Miranda (rolls her eyes): Mom.
Samantha: Unfortunately you do have to take showers… But I think I figured out why you hate them so much.
Miranda: Because I’d rather be doing anything else?
Samantha: Yeah, of course you would. And you know what? I actually just learned that there’s a reason for that — that your brain is actually drawn to things that are interesting and that it tries as hard as it can to avoids things that feel boring
Miranda: OK…?
Samantha: So if you’re reading and I ask you to go take a shower, your brain will resist. It wants to avoid the thing that’s boring. 
Miranda: That’s for sure. 
Samantha: Well, since showers have to happen, I wonder if we could use what I learned about the brain to help make showers less annoying for you?
Miranda: What do you mean?
Samantha: If your brain craves things that are more interesting, then maybe we need to find a way to make showers more interesting.
Miranda: They still wouldn’t be as interesting as books!
Samantha (laughs): Fair enough. But here’s what I learned… If you build things into the activity that make them more interesting, it helps you hate them less… and it helps you get them done more quickly.
Miranda: That would be nice!
Samantha: OK. The key is — you need to find something that will help you focus on what you’re doing, not distract you.
Miranda: So like if I were listening to an audio book, I might just focus on that and my showers will take longer.
Samantha: Right.
Miranda: I don’t want that.
Samantha: No. Can you think of anything else?
Miranda: What about music then? Like, listening to it and trying to get my shower done before a song is over?
Samantha: That wouldn’t distract you?
Miranda: No. 
Samantha: And you’ll still make sure you get clean?
Miranda (sighs): Yes, Mom. 

Samantha: Fair enough. Let’s try it then. 
Miranda: OK. 
Samantha: Sounds like a plan. Let’s check in in a week or so to see if that’s helping. 
Miranda: OK.


Your child has negative attitude / won’t problem solve

What it may mean: Your child is in Yuck — either from the relationship (you’ve made more withdrawals than deposits) or they’re in Yuck (because of the situation or something unrelated to the situation).
What you can say to yourself: 
“In order to problem solve, my child needs to be able to access the non-Yuck parts of the brain. I need to make a few deposits (understanding their perspective, being lighthearted, showing I’m on their side) before I can expect them to have a good attitude or solve problems.”
What you can say to them:
“I can see why you’d hate showers. They seem pointless. And they never seem to go away!”
“You know what? I wish I could tell you to never shower again. But sometimes there are things as a parent even I can’t do.”

Your child won’t talk about the topic at all

What it may mean: Your child is in Yuck — either from the relationship (you’ve made more withdrawals than deposits) or they’re in Yuck (because of the situation or something unrelated to the situation).
What to say to yourself:
“This probably isn’t a good time to talk about this. That’s OK. Right now they need support. I’ll revisit this another time.”
What to say to them:
“It seems like now’s not a good time for you to talk about this. Let’s talk about it again later.”
“Right now, maybe we just need to sit here for a minute.”