It’s so easy to be negative, to judge, to demand, to label, or blame, isn’t it? It takes effort, and practice, to frame sentences positively, to praise, and react calmly without attacking a person. This not only applies to children, but to adults as well. We would do well to think about how we speak to anyone. Following are 3 tips from first-hand experience and some highly relatable, short videos.
1) BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN
Parents, be conscious of what you say about other people in front of your kids. They will invariably compare themselves. For example: The family is watching a movie together and you say, “She’s ugly!” Or you might even say, “He’s good-looking.” It doesn’t matter. Your child will look at that person and wonder, “Am I ugly?” or “Am I good-looking?” Just keep that in mind. All kids want approval and acceptance from their parents. These kinds of comments will impact them more deeply than you might imagine. Depending on the child, it may be the root of problems with their self-worth later on. Potentially, this could mean that they might grow to view people in a shallow way - appearance being the most important thing.
2) ACTIVELY LISTEN!
Stop what you’re doing, get down to the level of your child, make eye contact, and listen to your kids when they want to talk. Even if you have to say, “I want to listen, but I need to finish cooking dinner. Could we talk afterward?” Then, don’t interrupt, fill in the blanks, or take over the conversation with “fix it” talk. Let them talk about whatever it is that they’re excited about (good or bad). Mirror some of the talk to show you’re listening and that you care about what they’re saying. Ask questions. Stay engaged!
3) USE “I” INSTEAD OF “YOU” MESSAGES
It’s so easy to say, “You made a mistake” or a multitude of other declarations. But what happens when you say it this way is that the listener then internalizes and forms a conclusion that they are bad, incapable, or somehow “wrong”.
Instead, say, “I see you’ve worked hard on this math homework. It’s done very neatly too.” (Using “you” in praise is great, especially if you are specific.) “But, I think we need to look at this answer. Let’s double-check it.”
Really, any type of labeling is dangerous and potentially harmful. And that’s what “You” messages do. They label. The child feels defined, limited. Not only that, labeling can cause anger and defiance. Definitely not a win-win situation. This short video illustrates what a difference I vs. You messages can make.
Here’s another video which I found makes several excellent points. It’s well worth 11 minutes of your time and could make a big difference! Take a look:
CONGRATULATIONS to our giveaway winner!
Mary Anne won the free hardback copy from the Bandana Acres series for February, 2019. She elected to have a softcover because she already had several in that format. Now she has the whole series to share with Sylvanas and her baby. Thanks for sharing this picture, Mary Anne.
Who will win our March Giveaway?
One of our subscribers will! If you’re not one yet, why not? Click HERE to sign up.
Can you find all 12 words in this puzzle? Look up, down, backwards, forwards, and diagonally. Click HERE to print this puzzle so you can circle the words.
DO YOU LIKE TO COLOR?
Here’s a new picture from the Bandana Acres books for you to color. Click HERE to print. These are the owlets (baby barn owls) from Hootin Goes Outside!
DO YOU LIKE TO TELL STORIES?
You know, I could give everyone in a classroom a picture of something and ask them to tell me about it, and the amazing thing is, EVERY story would be different. Isn’t that cool? Here’s a photo. Look at it. What do you think is happening? Tell me what you think in a very short story. Just a few sentences. Then, ask your mom or dad to send it to me. I’ll publish (on this blog) ALL the stories I receive, and then let YOU decide which story you like best. I can’t wait to read yours!