How to motivate someone who annoys you

My older son has been entrenched in science curriculum ever since he was 12 and hired his own tutor. I told him we were unschooling and I don’t believe in standard curriculum. We argued. Then he said, “Mom you’re so good at finding people to hire, you should find me a biology tutor.”

I was so surprised by his diplomatic approach that I acquiesced. I said, “That’s a really effective way to talk with me. A great way to get someone to do something they don’t want to do is to focus on their strengths.”

He said, “Mom, if I wanted you to keep being my teacher I wouldn’t be asking for tutors.”

Take ownership of your feelings toward the person you want to motivate.

Since then, he has detected his own sprained wrist when I told him to quit complaining. And when I told him to drink water instead of orange juice he sent away for a water testing kit to show me the well water on the farm was undrinkable.

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