DO THIS, NOT THAT…Talking to children to make them listen. There are many rewarding aspects of being a parent, but one constant issue that all parents confront is figuring out how to speak in a way that your children will listen. The way we speak to our children has a significant impact on their ability to learn and listen to us. We are always modelling how to act and behave for our children, and the way we speak to them falls into this category. We model how we want children to respond to us by the way we speak to them and those around us. We frequently inquire of others if there is a parent’s guide on utilising positive language. Don’t we?
Positive behaviour management is about encouraging children to understand their behaviours and the influence they may have on themselves and others through a positive rather than a negative approach. Instead of continually focusing on the negative aspects, this pushes you to focus on the positive aspects and applaud them.
Tips to improve the way we talk to our kids:
1. Give your youngster a name.
The sound of your own name is calming. Our children are no exception, and gaining their attention before delivering your word is advantageous. For example, “Anish, please go grab……,” Young children can usually only concentrate on one thing at a time. Call your child’s name until you have their attention before speaking. For instance, “Anish.” (Wait till he stops kicking the ball and looks at you.) “We only have five minutes to sleep,”
2. Make positive statements.
Avoid using the words “NO” or “DON’T” all the time. If we say things like “Don’t drop that cup,” “Don’t play inside,” or “Don’t drag your shoes,” your youngster will undoubtedly associate that image and thought with dropping the glass. Instead, think about how you want them to respond. “Please only walk inside,” “Hold onto that glass, it’s a special one,” and “Walk quietly so your feet don’t make a racket.” This takes a lot of thought and practise, but it’s definitely worth it. Try to avoid using statements like “you’re being a naughty boy,” “you’re a pretty nasty girl,” and “you’re such a bad lad.”
This type of language achieves very little except leaving your child feeling worthless. Kids will often cut off communication with those who use these words with them and begin to develop a poor self-concept. Positive and kind words give your child more confidence, make them feel happier, helps them behave better, encourages them to try hard, and achieve success. They learn to imitate you and deliver the same respect and praise to others. Examples of positive words are: “I liked that you remembered to pack up your toys”, “Thank you for helping me clear the table after dinner”, “You tried so hard to share your things with your friend, I am so proud!”.
3. Maintain eye contact with your child.
You might need to go down on their level or join them at the table. When you are conversing with your children, this demonstrates to them what they should do. It’s not only polite, but it also makes it easier to listen to one another. Before giving them a guidance, say your child’s name until you catch their attention. It is critical that kids pay attention to you, and you should model this behaviour for them.
4. Keep your volume low
Never try to compete with a screaming child. Because there will be no communication and simply noise. Then discuss once they’ve cooled down. If you normally utilise your voice volume appropriately, raising your voice in an emergency circumstance should not be overlooked. They’ll sit up and take note because this doesn’t happen every day.
5. Options and alternatives should be suggested.
When you want your children to collaborate with you, it helps if they understand why you need them to do something and how it will benefit them. They must understand the significance of following your instructions. “You may watch a little TV when you finish your homework,” for example, or “Would you like to carry the red umbrella or the black umbrella?” Even when there is no opportunity for bargaining, using terms like “when” and “which” gives the impression that the youngster has options. This is considerably more effective than using “if” terms. Also, attempt to involve your youngster in problem-solving activities. For example, instead of saying “Don’t leave your toy cars all over the floor!”, try saying “Angad, think about where you should store your toy cars so they’re in a safe place, come and tell me when you’ve decided on a good spot.” Alternatives are much better than straight out “NO” or “DON’T”. For example “You can’t get the Meccano out just now, but you could play with your Beyblade instead”.
6. Keep nagging to a minimum.
Nobody enjoys having a helicopter hover over their heads all of the time! Lots of nagging is eliminated by writing things down (for older kids) or having a chart with incentives in place. It’s critical to acknowledge and appreciate effort, as well as to reward desired behaviour. Set a time when the kids will know what to expect. They flourish in a structured environment. Set a deadline for them to accomplish their assignment, for example. Also, congratulate them for making the deadline. A parent’s guide to utilising positive language should include this point.
7. Model excellent behaviour and expect it.
Good manners are always required. When you model good manners for your children and others, they will see that they are expected and demonstrated on a regular basis. Before they can talk, teach them to say “please” and “thank you.” Parents should also say “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” to their children since “monkey see, monkey do.”
8. Be kind but tough.
If you’ve decided on anything, don’t change your mind. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about the issue and stick to your decision. This avoids children pitting one parent against the other.
9. Check for Comprehension
If you feel that your child is not responding to your requests or getting confused by your instructions or conversations check if they could comprehend what you said. Ask them to repeat what you said. If they can’t, you know that it is too long or complicated for them to understand. Try to rephrase your choice of words with shorter and simpler sentences.
10. Schedule one-on-one talks.
This is especially important if your children are a significant age difference. Elder siblings frequently talk over younger siblings, and younger siblings prefer to let the older siblings do all of the talking. Conversations with older siblings can occasionally be above the younger children’s comprehension level. Make an effort to spend some time alone with each youngster so that you may speak to them on their level and with suitable words.
Parents usually communicate with their children in one of three ways. All of these are essential components in a parent’s guide to positive language.
These parents scream a lot, put their children down, and use derogatory language. Their children retaliate in a variety of ways, including acting out more, becoming afraid, yelling back, and ignoring their parents’ repeated commands.
2. Passive Behavior
Parents who are more reserved murmur gentle, cautious words and tones to their children as they run amok and walk all over them. Unfortunately, many parents are so docile that when pushed to their limits, they abruptly switch to an aggressive tone in their conversation.
Firm, consistent, clear, positive, warm, and confident communication is an assertive style. Communicating assertively with children is a genuine talent, but it demonstrates to your children that their parents are aware of their concerns and are willing to listen.
I have these ‘Golden Rules’ that we all follow (or at least attempt to follow) at home, and I’ve discovered that they regulate how parents and children interact with one another:
We pay attention to others and do not disturb them.
We are truthful; we do not lie. We are nice and helpful; we do not damage anyone’s feelings.
We are gentle and do not cause harm to others.
We try to work hard and don’t waste time, and we take care of our property.
As much as the content of what we talk is important, how we talk is equally important. Talk to your children in a way that they listen. Being at their level and valuing their talks is always a great way to start,