Don’t get into it! Positive Discipline author and decades-long marriage, family, and child counselor Jane Nelsen advises that to avoid an emotional battlefield, with kids deftly playing one parent off the other, parents will do best to keep their response short and to the point. The following, says Nelsen, should do the trick:

“Thank you for letting me know how important it is for your Mom/Dad and me to get on the same page. We’ll talk about it and I’ll get back to you. This also sounds like a good item for our family meeting agenda so we can all discuss it together.”

Here’s how 4 other parenting experts say to respond…


Richard Weissbourd
“Are you on the same highway with your partner?” asks The Parents We Mean to Be author Richard Weissbourd. If not, make sure you get there to avoid constant conflict. Format: Video (1:20)

Erica Reischer
Give kids credit for trying to get what they want, says parent coach and psychologist Erica Reischer. But to keep the endless back-and-forth in check, follow this one guideline. Format: Video (1:37)

Heidi Allen Garvin
Heidi Allen Garvin, founder of the popular website Mormon Moms, says parents should avoid creating a dynamic that pits parents against each other. Here’s how. Format: Article

Adele Faber
The co-author of the seminal How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk offers an example of how to respond to this wily kid comment. Format: Article

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