Photo by Rachel Hadiashar
In our last positive parenting tool,
we talked about the crazy phenomenon
called our children can't hear us.
And how to connect with children
to engage their cooperation.
This week, we're talking about
speaking their language.
There's grown-up talk.
Then there's kid-talk.
Grown-up talk is full of pretty,
but often unnecessary words.
Kid-talk says it like it is.
Verbiage, mini-lectures, subtleties, & niceties
are a waste of words on children,
and can hinder comprehension.
Because it't hard for developing minds
to track and extrapolate
what we want them to do
when's it embedded in a ton of words and topics.
(And those of us with sarcastic tendencies,
let's do our best to leave meanness disguised as humor
out of our parenting.)
What we take for granted as the way
adult brains work and function,
is not a given in children.
Their brains are different in
an amazing state of learning and growth,
which means they don't quite have
the auditory comprehension skills we do.
That doesn't mean our children aren't intelligent.
Or that vocabulary development isn't important.
In fact, I've known a many a 3 year old
who far surpass the adults
in the room with their gift, power, or intelligence.
Rather, it all goes back to children's developing minds.
How do we best support this blossoming
of children's communication
so they can understand us,
and therefore best cooperate with us?
1) Say it clear and simply,
with a calm + confident tone of voice.
2) Use as few words as possible to say what you mean + what you want them to do,
and stick to one topic.
3) Believe your children will do
what you want them to do.
Brain science affirms that your children
are wired to cooperate with you for their survival.
Believe in cooperation, and parenting as the teaching of life skills.
4) Offer help as needed,
breaking the task down into smaller steps
so your children (and you!) can feel successful.
What does this sound like?
Let's say it's time to clean up and go to the store.
In the past/the old way,
we would've said something like this:
"Sweetie, Mommy loves you. It's time to go to the store. Are you excited? You love shopping. Ok.... Um, yes...could you please put on your jacket? Let's see I need to get my bag and my list....Put your toys away, come on go get your jacket. Aren't you ready? Let's go..., let's go....Do you hear me?? Time to go!!"
I'm exaggerating a bit.
But, what exactly is the child supposed to do here?
Can you see how hard it would be as a young mind to pull out the action steps
and make sense of your request?
Even though we started off very nicely,
our temperature rises as our children don't listen to us because they can't understand us.
We can learn effective kid-talk.
Just takes practice.
That paragraph above can become...
"Let's put the toys away,
(getting down on the floor to help)
get your jacket on,
(walking to the door with your child)
and do you want to open the door or do it together?"
50 to 90% of the time,
your children will cooperate.
I have a few friends who got this kid-talk down.
I listen to them with open ears,
remembering how they said what they said
so I can say it like that later.
We're all here to learn from one another.
Also, start listening to the dads in your life.
Fathers are know for directness in their communication.
This clarity and "saying it like it is" helps kids listen better.
Because children's brains are in the very midst of developing linguistically + cognitively.
Directness + Clarity = Comprehension = Cooperation.
Simple, clear, as few words as possible
said calmly and confidently,
believing your child is wired to cooperate with you,
is your golden ticket to cooperation.
Success stories or challenges to share?
Head over to my Facebook page
so we can learn together.
You got this,
Hi friends, I write from the heart to tell my life story, and the story of those in my neighborhood called life. Research shows that our children's emotional & mental health is contingent upon us parents being able to tell our life story, or "coherent narrative." This is my coherent narrative, my life story in the making, with some of what I love in life too. My goal is to share my life in a way that is real, uplifting & positive- sometimes serious, sometimes fun. In my practice, I inspire parents to empowerment through reclaiming our life stories and learning respectful discipline. My work is my offering to our children- our future. Wishing you all a happy family!