Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Work on her need to have the last word.

What you can do

Make your child aware that always having the last word can be a turn-off to others. Brainstorm together some nonconfrontational ways of making a point. Also talk about deciding what’s more important—winning an argument or getting along with a friend or classmate.

What you can say

“Sofia, I know how much you love ‘Frozen.’ I know you think ‘Let It Go’ is the greatest song ever written. And it’s fine for you to share your opinion with your friends. But you need to stop trying to badger them into agreeing with you.”

“I overheard you arguing with Abby about the best movie song. You really like ‘Let It Go.’ She really likes ‘My Heart Will Go On.’ You both made valid points. But then you kept repeating yours and insisting you were right.”

“She tried to change the subject, but you wouldn’t stop talking about it. You had to have the last word. She finally became angry enough to tell you off and leave the room.”

“She’s a good friend. And you need to realize that you could risk losing her as a friend if you’re always so insistent on having the last word and having your way. Let’s practice together and I’ll let you know when you’re getting too worked up and need to move on to another conversation topic.”

Why this will help

Sometimes children with learning and attention issues cling rigidly to their thinking and find it very tough to hear anything to the contrary. Helping your child find effective ways to walk away from these discussions will make other kids generally more interested in being with them.

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