How to Talk So Kids Will Listen (Part Two): Engaging Cooperation
Getting children to cooperate, to behave in ways you or the people around you need them to can be an exercise in frustration. Threats, warnings, and lectures are some of the ways that don’t work. However, there are ways to engage your child and remind them of the behavior you want to see.
- Describe what you see or describe the problem. “The light’s on in the bathroom.”
- Give information. “Milk turns sour when it’s left out.”
- Say it with a word. “Kids, pajamas.”
- Talk about your feelings. “I don’t like it when the door is left open. The flies get in.”
- Leave a note. (on the TV: “Have you done your homework?”
We want to avoid language that wounds the spirit. We want to create an environment that encourages children to cooperate because they care about themselves and they care about us. We want to teach our children a respectful way to communicate that they can use now and as they grown into adults.
Next post: Alternatives to Punishment, Part A