Thursday, September 06, 2007

How to talk to your kids

I recently read a post about how to talk to your child. It really hit home with me because I always give Sadie a command followed by an, "okay?"

The writer of this post says that you shouldn't be asking permission from your child when giving them a command. Ever since reading this, I have been very conscious of every time I follow a direction I give to Sadie by saying, "okay?" For me, I'm not really asking her if she wants to do what I am telling her to do, it's more that I'm making sure she understands. So lately I have been trying to end my sentence by a "got it?" or "understand?"

The other tip I liked was this:

"Instead of saying 'If you do this, then you can have that' change it to, 'When you do this, then you can have that.' It's not optional, they understand (or will) that they need to do it and the ball/choice/power is in the child's hands to make the necessary choice when s/he is ready."

Are there any other effective ways you use to talk to your kids?


Susan said...

I've heard that you are never supposed to tell your child they are bad or naughty for doing something wrong but what they are doing is naughty or wrong. Good Blog, Lindsey!

Jordan McCollum said...

I'm working on both those (the first more consciously than the second).

I read a blog post recently that railed against using "or" and "if" as "threatening" or "manipulating" your children (advocating using "so" instead--eat your green beans so you'll grow up big and strong). (Other words that were previously disallowed on this blog included "now" and "don't.")

I think that's a little unrealistic, really. Not all the reasons we motivate our children will always be positive. "Avoid running in the street SO you won't be killed" just doesn't quite seem to convey it. . . . Especially when "STOP NOW!" is what you really need to say. . . .

Becky said...

I remember hearing that when you tell your kids how smart and beautiful they are you shouldn't say "You are the prettiest girl ever!" instead you should just say "you are so pretty" so they don't grow up thinking that they are indeed the prettiest and smartest.

regibells said...

Thanks for the blog post...There are probably so many things I do that are wrong but I feel like the most important thing I can do for my kids is to tell them how much I love them. Also I know how affective it is to acknowledge when they do something's all about positive reinforcement.