#39 Give permission
Intermediate, ages 2-18
When you are not likely to succeed at reducing or stopping a relatively minor form of misbehavior, recognize that your influence has reached a point of diminishing returns. Consider whether you are expecting too much. Under these conditions, parents may decide to back off and concede defeat before they make the problem worse. By giving permission they retain their influence for more important issues.

Father insists that his teenage son wear his hair short and neat. The teenager returns home from the hairstylist one day with a Mohawk haircut. Father is angry. He and his son exchange heated words over dinner. Father later realizes there is no way, short of forcibly cutting his son's hair that he can change the situation. He decides to back off and give permission. Son, it's your hair. I may not like it, but you can wear it any way you want.

Next: Tool 40