Please just one time…
Just one time, I promise!
This is a lie. Don’t believe it. It’s not gonna happen! IT’S A TRAP! Don’t be fooled into thinking your child will allow you to swing him around one time and one time only. Or that you could chase him around the yard one time and he’d say, “thank you” and be done with it. You will never be able to give him one trip in the wagon, one jump out of the tree into your arms, or one battle with superman and iron man. He’s FOUR for gosh darnit! He hasn’t developed that thing in the brain, um, in the amygdala? Or maybe in the frontal lobe(s)? Regardless, there isn’t a neuron in that brain that fires for “once only”.
Let’s play out the scenario for a moment. First of all you play the sucker, and you do whatever your child wants: ONE TIME. Then you realize instantly that it was a trap because now his energy and excitement have doubled and he uses sayings like, “AGAIN!” or “Ok, one more time starting now!” or “please, please, please just oooooonnnnnnneeee more time!”or “This time for real one more time”.
Now guess what? Because you did the damn thing one time, he knows you are capable of doing it again. And guess what that means? That you are just being a big ol jerk face if you say no. You’ve now committed yourself to either being a “mean person” or doing the damn thing again. So you probably do the thing again.
This cycle continues until your child decides that HE is done. But at least you weren’t a jerk, right? If you are going to say yes to “one more time”, you just need to be prepared for two, three, four, the entire afternoon, 70, alot, more than you’d think, a-serious-lot.
When I say yes to one more time, I make sure he knows it is only one more time. I get down to his level and I look him in the eyes. I wait until he looks in my eyes, and I can confirm that he’s paying attention. Then we establish that he only gets one time and one time only. Sometimes I’ll even make him repeat it back to me so there is absolutely no confusion about whether or not he understood. Then I give him two times. Why? Because it makes me the coolest dad in the world instead of the cruel daddy that said “no”.