When I tell my five-year old daughter ‘no’, she immediately goes to Dad and asks him the same thing. He usually says no too, but the fact that she doesn’t take my word for it drives me crazy. How can I get it across to her that I mean business?
Happy to hear you’re both on the same page. This problem needs to be addressed. A small child will often clue into which of the parents is a tad softer and will act upon it, using it to their benefit every chance they get. The next time your daughter tries this, explain to her how disrespectful it is that she asks Daddy after you have said no. Then get Dad to step up, too. He needs to be part of this strategy. Get him to say, “Haven’t you already asked Mom? If Mom says ‘no,’ then the answer is ‘no.’ ” It is not uncommon for children of all ages to do this and it can cause problems in a family if parents are not aware of what is going on.
I have seen children as old as 15 try to pull this off! Whether those parents have chosen to ignore it or have been unaware beats me.
Published June 2010