How to Talk to Kids: 4 Reasons Why Your Child Isn't Listening to You by Roma Khetarpal

4 years ago

How to Talk to Kids: 4 Reasons Why Your Child Isn't Listening to You

Certain words and phrases – even when spoken in a kind voice – trigger a negative emotion. So even though you are thinking positively and are using a positive tone of voice, the word choice creates a negative impression in your child’s mind. Here are some examples of words we commonly use that lead us to disconnection instead of connection:

  • “DON’T do this…”: We hear “don’t” and automatically get defensive.
  • You NEED to…”: When we say “you need to do this,” it’s like hearing “you don’t have a choice.”
  • “You NEVER…”: This sends the message that something (not listening, for example) is a repeated behavior, and therefore “you are a problem for me” or “you have a problem.”
  • “You ALWAYS...”: This sends a similar message to the one above.

Instead of the words above, why not say things like:

  • “What if we did it this way?”
  • “How about something like this?”
  • “Why don’t we find another option?”
  • “Let’s think about that.”

The next time you find yourself needing to change a behavior, think about the way you align your words to match your positive intentions and turn a challenging situation into a positive learning experience for your kids.

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Donna John
What great advice!!! This would work with adults as well. Roma Khetarpal
Elisa Schmitz
I was thinking the same thing, Donna John - great communication tips for kids and adults alike. Thank you, Roma Khetarpal ! Tools Of Growth
Mike Prochaska
It works.. well. Not sure about with teenagers but does with grade schoolers.
Chef Gigi
I love Adele Faber , Author of, “How to Talk do kids will listen, and how to listen so kids will talk! “
I used her method of close-ended choices to raise my children. It really works!
See things eye to eye. Get down to your child's level and ask him to look directly at you while you are speaking to each other. ...
Listen to your child. ...
Find out why they're not complying. ...
Keep your cool. ...
Explain that it's not respectful. ...
Inject a little fun. ...
Turn the tables. ...
Be patient.

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