Communicating with Kids

I refrain from writing a lot of parenting or marriage type posts, because what works for one family or couple may or may not work for another. There will always be someone who does something differently, and to an extent I think it’s good for people to discover what works for them on their own. Not saying I never help, but I prefer the help be asked for.

This post isn’t meant as anything more than reflection on one aspect of my children. Well, child. See, for the most part I can say to the kids, “Please don’t do that.” And they stop (for the most part) and go find something else to do (for the most part). I have one child, though, who at the first mention of “no” or “don’t” gets her back up. It doesn’t matter how I approach the words, if one of them is mentioned she goes into automatic “will not comply” mode and disciplining her for it doesn’t usually work because she left listening and self-control waaaay back at the gate.

What DOES work, I discovered, is a two-fold solution. First there’s telling her what she can do instead of what she can’t. Instead of saying, “Don’t play with Mommy’s yarn” I say “You can put Mommy’s yarn down now.” The second part is having something specific to direct her to, so once she’s put down the yarn (or the paper book, or the wipe container, or whatever), she has a task to occupy and distract herself. On top of that, if I can word it such that she’s “helping Mommy” in doing the new task,  it almost always works.

 

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