“My son absolutely REFUSES to brush his teeth.”

From the mailbag

"Dear MamaBear,

My son just refuses to brush his teeth!  I've tried everything, I told him about how bad cavities are and how he'll get them, I've asked him again and again, and nothing happens!



At The End Of My Toothbrush"

Dear AteoMT,

Mamabear gets these types of questions all the time, and she just has to exhale in exasperation and ask you:

Who is the parent here?   You or your kid??

You "ask" your son to brush his teeth?

Permit me to gently einquire,

  • Do you also "ask" him to do homework?
  • "Ask" him to do the chores?
  • "Ask" him not to throw pie frosting at his younger sibling?


You do not "ask" your child to brush his teeth, you *tell* him to brush his teeth.

And if he refuses, you take away privileges.

In other words,

  • He chooses to disobey you, he gets consequences.

And not just idjut-like consequences like sitting in time-out.

You make him feel the pain.

  • You put his favorite plushie in jail.
  • You refuse to let him have a favorite playdate.
  • You take away desserts or anything that will cause him to have tooth decay.

See what MamaBear means?

You need to show your kid that sure, he can consider disobeying you…but then he *will* experience any consequences you choose to inflict.

Listen, AteoMT, your son needs *boundaries*. 

You let him get away with not brushing his teeth now, you're simply showing yourself as a wimpy parent who cannot be relied upon to be strong and stable.

Not good at all!

So take back your parenting power today, and stand over your son while he brushes his teeth.  If he refuses, tell him, if that's how he chooses to behave, you choose to give him whatever consequence will make the most impression on him.

I'll be happy to bet you…soon your son will brush his teeth with no problem at all.

Thus speaks….MamaBear

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