The Last Word


Recently, I had an epiphany of sorts. In an attempt to reduce my reactive anger toward my child, I now let her have the last word. What freedom in knowing that I can let my strong willed child have the last word, without reacting to it.

And, quite frankly, her “last words” are quite ridiculous and not worth any further comment. On any given Tuesday, I can say, “Today is Tuesday,” and she will be in some strange mood, and say, “No it isn’t!” That’s the time that I take a deep breath, and, if I say anything at all it is a quiet, calm, confident, “OK.”

It also works well to turn around, so that she cannot see me rolling my eyes, and so I can take another deep breath. I tell myself in that moment, “She’s arguing. I can walk away. What she just said doesn’t even make any sense, and I don’t have to react. If she wants me to get angry, I am going
to disappoint her.”

I’ve also noticed that if I say something like, “OK, but it really is Tuesday,” or worse, angrily point to the calendar and say, “Yes it is! Look at the calendar!” I may as well have thrown gasoline on a fire, because that starts up the arguing again.

Let your child (or childish adult in your life) have “the last word.” See what happens.

parenting resources

helpful websites

  • Love and Logic
    Bestselling author Jim Fay, founder of the "Love and Logic" process.
  • Focus on The Family
    Provides parenting advice and other family issues from a Christian perspective. Founded by Dr. James Dobson.
  • TroubledWith: Parenting Children
    Resources dealing with various common childhood issues and what a parent can do.