Effective communication with your young child occurs when the language you use changes from parent-centered to child-centered. Sometimes, we just need to change a couple of words around in the sentence that makes it just so much more effective.
Here are 8 sets of phrases that will help you put your child in charge of their feelings and actions and improve the solving of conflicts.
- Change if then to when then:
“If you put the blocks away, then you can get the play dough” becomes:
“When the blocks are back in their container, then the play dough can be used.”
- Use an open-ended question like: I wonder what would happen if, when your child is trying a new or challenging task.
“I wonder what would happen if, you moved the puzzle pieces around to see if they fit.”
- Change, I’m so proud of you to you must be proud of yourself.
“At the dentist you sat in the chair and let the hygienist clean and polish your teeth, you must be proud of yourself.”
- When transitioning from one activity to another one use as soon as you’re ready, I now you will___________. Or use in a little while.
“As soon as you’re ready, I k now you will get into the pool for lessons.”
- Instead of saying, you can’t play with this, state what you expect in a positive way.
“I see you are looking for something to do. Here are some puzzles and some cars.”
- When responding to a child’s worry, use the phrase though you know
I see you are disappointed we didn’t go to the store, though you know we will go again.
- Change why can’t you? to I see you have
“Why can’t you be quiet? When you children pester you, becomes:
“I see you have a lot of questions right now.”
- When you need a time out from your children instead of saying, you’re driving me crazy, say:
“I need a little time for myself, now.”
This list was taken from Who’s the Boss by Dr. Arthur Lavin and Susan Glasser and contributed by Courtney Evenchik.