[Published previously for SFGate.com/moms]

If Mikey wants something and it conflicts with what I want, I can be sure that the conversation won't end there.

Here's a scenerio: Mikey is standing on a foot stool in the pantry holding the jar of fig bars. We are just about to sit down to dinner and he wants yet another fig bar. So, I say, "Mikey wants another fig bar. Yep, I hear you sweety, you want another bar." His shoulders relax and his face softens and he nods his head. Then I say, "Mikey, you've already had two fig bars, no more, just two."

Most of the time he'll repeat back, "just two." And sometimes we'll do the scenerio again or I'll have to look for a compromise like asking him if he'd like to start eating dinner a little before papa gets home.

What amazes me about this scene is that it works every time no matter what the conflict. By just repeating back to him what he wants, he is soothed into listening. The poor guy just wants to know that he is understood. Don't we all!