Here are 5 ideas to immediately up your parenting skills.
Skills to connect with your children – without alienating them…
1. Describe what you see.
Instead of asking rhetorical questions, berating, or lecturing, describe a problem.
Don’t say: “You never remember to put your shoes up when I ask you. I don’t know what I have to do to get your attention. This whole thing makes me so mad.”
Say: “Your shoes are still in the floor.”
2. Give information.
Instead of accusations, giving more information can lead to a calmer situation.
Don’t say: “Did you leave the door open? Do you need a consequence? Do you know how dangerous that is for the dog?”
Say: “The dog can run away forever if this door is left open.”
3. Use one word.
Use one word, when one word will do – no reason for 15.
Don’t say: “Did you leave your dirty close in here? Is this where they go? How many times do we have to talk about this?”
4. Share feelings.
Describing an emotion might crease more empathy than a lecture.
Don’t say: “Quit disobeying me! Why would you act like that? Why can’t you just do what I ask you?”
Say: “It makes me disappointed when you disobey me.”
5. Write a note.
I am partial, of course, but there is something special about the written word.
This might be as simple as leaving a note on the TV saying: “Before you watch me, is your room clean?”
I know, I know – emotions.
All this is easier said than done.
We can at least try, can’t we?
We’d like to share with you five skills that have been helpful to us and to the parents in our workshops. Not every one of them will work with every child. Not every skill will suit your personality. And there isn’t any one of them that is effective all the time. What these five skills do, however, is create a climate of respect in which the spirit of cooperation can begin to grow. To Engage Cooperation 1. Describe. Describe what you see or describe the problem. 2. Give information. 3. Say it with a word. 4. Talk about your feelings. 5. Write a note.
-Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Amazon)