In the 80s, squeezing teens into a mini or combi van was our idea of a good night out.
As kids, we were always trying new stuff and pushing boundaries.
As an adult, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of raising teens, you’ll appreciate saying “no” encourages doing the opposite.
When Mum said don’t touch a hot pan - I was innately compelled to see how hot it really was. If you say “no junk food”, the first thing teens do is chow down Maccas with a few Cokes (or even swallow a Tide Pod...).
So when you hear don’t be late, don't do this or that it’s cognitively challenging to remember to NOT do something:
"I must not stuff up".
“I must NOT be RUDE to that jerk from Marketing”. He’s still a jerk (btw).
Kids see through us. The no-junk-food doctrine fails b/c they see their parents eat junk. We haven’t dealt with our own duplicity.
Try these ideas when you want someone to do something:
1. State it in attractive, positive terms: “When you go out, try to eat healthily.”
2. Give agency: Ask how they might eat healthily.
3. Model the behaviour you want. You make healthy choices.
Who cares? True rebels don’t take NO for an answer like Erin Brokovich, James Dyson, Rosa Parkes et al.
Answer: 28 is the world record