Please listen to this lovely little song my 9-year old daughter Lela wrote quite spontaneously.
I Don’t Wanna
I don’t wanna grow up.
I don’t wanna go to school.
I don’t want any ‘sponsibilities.
I don’t want to have a family.
I just wanna be lazy.
And cuddle my mommy.
I don’t wanna get a job.
I don’t wanna have kids.
I don’t wanna work all day.
I don’t wanna have fun.
I don’t wanna play a game.
Try to make me!
If you do…
I will slice your head off with a cookie,
and put it in a truck full of garlic that is heading to South America
And will never be seen again.
I was so astonished by how well she captured what we at Handel call the voice of the “brat”—a little creature in our head who doesn’t wanna do what it doesn’t feel like doing. And the brat isn’t limited to children! We as adults all have inner brats, but they sound a bit more refined, probably with a college degree or two to back up their reasoning. Yet when you get down to it, the voice is very similar to a 9-year old’s.
We don’t wanna do a whole bunch of things.
We don’t even want to have fun sometimes.
We will threaten those who try and get us to do things that might be good for us.
And, we are very very silly.
What we’ve found through coaching thousands of people is that they are most happy when they conquer this voice of the brat, and do the “right thing.” At this time of year, that could mean eating small portions, drinking less, calling home, reconciling with family members, exercising, wrapping up the year at work with gusto, or spending more time with your kids.
How do you conquer the brat? First off, add a sense of humor to it. Learn to make fun of that brat voice, perhaps by making a song about it like Lela did. Don’t wait for it to go away on its own, because it won’t.
Then, make a promise to yourself about what you will do. Tell someone, so that you are accountable. And then give yourself a consequence that you have to pay if you don’t keep your promise! If Lela doesn’t do her homework, she loses television privileges. The only way I get to bed on time each night is by owing push-ups if I don’t!
Consequences work like magic, but you have to learn how to make the right ones for you. We have TONS of ideas for you. Just come to us with what you are being a brat about, and we’ll tell you how to stop being a brat!
How about you make this year be the year that your brat’s song goes silent?