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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 48

Find what incentives work for your child

I have a child who can be persuaded to do just about anything, if he thinks you’ll be disappointed in him if he doesn’t do it. It’s really useful, though I do have to be careful not to emotionally blackmail him.* He desperately wants to please, and I can use that to motivate him. Of course, after he’s done whatever it is I have to remember to tell him how pleased, impressed, delighted, touched I am with him.

I have another child who couldn’t be less interested in my approval or disapproval. As far as he’s concerned, that’s my stuff. On the other hand, he cares very much about appearing to be grown up and being seen as responsible. So that’s the lever I use to motivate him.

All my children are ...

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