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This is the third article in the collection: SCHOOL OF FAMILIES. A series of articles in which we give guidelines and resources to deal with everyday problems in education.

Children can be very insistent when they want something. Children often learn that persevering leads to adults giving in. They associate insisting too much with getting their way. When this happens we can lose patience, generating tensions and conflicts at home. In fact, sometimes they can get so annoying that we succumb to being left alone. If this happens to you often, the broken record technique will help you manage these situations successfully.

The starting point is always to make sure that our child has all of his or her needs covered and to make our point of view clear on that particular issue , but what if he or she continues to insist?

1.- Don't lose your cool . Insistence is normal when we want to convince someone of something. Your child is not challenging you , he simply wants to achieve something and that is why he insists. If necessary, ask for a break and take some time to calm down.

2.- Don't give in. If after insistence you end up giving in, what your child learns is that insisting is useful. This causes the insistent behavior to continue or even increase. Not to mention that he learns that through insistence one gets what he wants, resulting in him using this strategy in the future.

3.- Ignore. If possible or if you feel comfortable doing so, ignoring is a good resource. Sometimes if we don't pay too much attention, they stop insisting naturally and quickly. If you want to know more about the power of your attention, check out this article .

4.- If you can't ignore, apply the SCRATCHED DISC TECHNIQUE. It consists of repeating the same message continuously. It is not about giving explanations again but rather conveying your idea in a clear and concise way. “You will watch TV when you have finished your homework”…

Let's look at a more concrete example:
Antonio really wants to play but it's time to sleep. His father tells him that he has to go to bed and that he must rest so that he can get up and go to school tomorrow. Antonio insists: “But I want to play” to which his father responds: “I understand that you want to play but it's time to sleep” (Scratched record). Antonio does not give up: “Let me play for a while and then I'll go to sleep” but his father answers: “You can't play, now we have to sleep” (Scratched record). Antonio's father must maintain this discourse until his son understands that he is not going to give in and desists.


Another typical example in adolescents:
Carlos wants a motorcycle. His parents have had a conversation in which they have explained that they are not going to buy him a motorcycle because they do not consider it safe and, furthermore, it represents a great expense for the family. At the slightest opportunity, Carlos brings up the topic: “Please, I want a motorcycle because that way I can get to places faster.” His parents respond: “You already know our position. We are not going to buy you a motorcycle” (Broken record). Carlos appeals to his emotions: “But I'm the only one of my friends who doesn't have one and I'm going to be left out” to which his parents could respond: “We've already talked about this Carlos and the decision has been made” ( Broken record). Carlos perseveres and tries to negotiate: “If I get good grades and get a job I could help you pay for it.” His parents respond: “Your safety comes before anything else and the motorcycle doesn't seem safe to us. We are sorry but the decision has been made” (Scratched record)


Arguing about the same thing over and over again is useless because it takes an emotional toll on everyone. No matter how insistent your child is, there comes a time when he ends up assuming that this time he is not going to get his way. As we always tell you, don't believe anything, put it to the test and see the results for yourself.

The broken record technique is more effective if we pay little attention to complaints and other calls for attention. It is not unusual for him to get angry at first , but if we continue with the broken record, he will end up getting tired of asking and always getting the same answer. If their behavior is very bad or harms third parties, the consequences of this type of behavior must be applied.


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