I thought parenting was easy and there were no skills or techniques required, and anyone reading parenting books must have nothing better to do.
I was so wrong. I wished I learned how to communicate with children a few years earlier.
When children do something wrong, it is natural to raise one's voice and scold them or threaten to put them time-out, right?
Yes, it is natural, but it is wrong and ineffective. It can stop them from doing whatever annoying thing they are doing, but it is short-term.
Or, sometimes, when they are troubled, we tell them what they should do, thinking that we, as adults, know better. We rarely consider their feelings.
How to communicate with them is important.
Here are some communication roadblocks and tips I would like to share.
14 Communication Road Blocks
What NOT to do
1. Commanding - "Stop watching TV!"
2. Warning, admonishing, threatening: “If you do this again, I will....”.
3. Moralizing: “That’s what you get for being….What did you expect would happen?”.
4. Advising: “What you need to do now is…”
5. Lecturing: “Children need to learn how to be nice.”.
6. Judging, criticizing, blaming.”If you didn’t do this, if you had listened to me,..”
7. Praising (in a sarcastic way), “You are usually such a nice boy but this time....”
8. Name calling, "You are so stupid."
9. Interpreting, diagnosing, psychologizing, “The problem with you is….”
10. Placating (intend to make someone less angry): "It is not that bad, you will feel better.”
12. Distracting. “Let’s not dwell on it now, let’s play a game.”
14. Know-it-all. “The solution is so easy, you just have to…”.
What TO DO instead
1. Active listening – don’t offer a solution. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t judge.
6 components of active listening
Indicate deep attention with nonverbal cues – nod your head, make eye contact.
Use words and phrases to show listening and caring, “Go on”, “I see.”
Restate what the speaker has said, to ensure accurate understanding.
Probe for more information, “What happened next?”
Listen for the feelings – make an educated guess as to what the speaker is feeling
in order to fully understand the experience from the speaker’s point of view.
Offer to problem solve – encourage the speaker to identify his own solutions.
DON’T solve his problem.
Healthy Discipline Strategies
1. Teach them right from wrong with calm words and actions. If you are really mad, take a few deep breaths, walk away, and come back.
2. Set clear and consistent rules and explain the rules to them.
3. Set consequences if they don't behave and follow through.
4. Hear them out. Listening is important.
5. Give them your positive attention, show them love, praise, and encourage them. Sometimes children act out just to get parents' attention, even negative ones.
6. Know when not to respond. If you know they are just testing your limits, ignore them.
Parenting is a difficult job, and skills don't come naturally. Skills are acquired.
It is hard to do, but I am practicing these new techniques.
Good luck ^_^