The First Days

Impose a Family Hiatus on Asking—for anything. Get your partner to agree, and then announce to everyone living in the house that no one—not you, your partner, the offending child, or any sibling—will make a single demand for the next three weeks unless it's a normal household routine, vital necessity, or life-threatening emergency. And you must be consistent: no expression of casual desires, no daydreaming about stuff you want, no requests of any kind. You can call it a kind of "wish fast" or "experiment in self-denial." See what happens as everyone adjusts and gets out of the habit.The results may be remarkable.

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