No!… Don’t do that… Wait!… Don’t touch that… Pick that up… Don’t through things to the floor… Stop that!… Hurry up!…
Does it sound familiar?
Aren’t you tired of repeating the same sentences hundreds of times?
When we talk to our young children, we give them more instructions and orders than a sergeant of the armed forces to his soldiers! Why do we talk like sergeants to our young children? Is that really necessary?
I don’t think it is. Of course we must set boundaries with our kids and we do have to teach them the rules, both home rules and social rules, but do we need to use that “military ” tone?
For a parent, I see 2 major issues about constantly using that “military” communication (as I like to call it):
- It is rather tiring for a mom spending her day giving that type of instructions. It could also be boring and frustrating;
- When using that type of communication, we are so focused on the instructions that we are losing the best part of the whole motherhood: teaching, learning together and enjoying the development of our children.
“Why do we talk
like sergeants to
And how about our children? Have you ever thought about how boring, negative and frustrating must be for a child to keep hearing all day: No!… Don’t do that!… Stop!…
For a child, I see 2 major issues about constantly listening to that type of communication:
- The child is constantly receiving a negative message which is difficult to understand: being told not to do something is not the same as learning what to do and how;
- By talking to the child in negative, he or she is perceiving a continuous repression on his/her initiatives which can be frustrating for a person that is just discovering the world: it may cause and/or encourage fear and lack of motivation in your infant). The kid can also have the feeling of doing everything wrong which can be quite discouraging: it may impact the child’s self-confidence.
My Coaching Tool for Parents:
As a coach, I use this tool when someone is constantly annulling the impact of a positive sentence by using a negative one right after.
“I will try to do it, but it will not be easy”.
What I encourage the person to do is to change the order of the sentences. Like this:
“It will not be easy, but I will try to do it”.
“It will not
but I will try
to do it”
This example is just one way of using a Constructive Communication. A small change that makes a big difference, did you notice it?
In the first example the person is emphasizing the obstacles with the risk of losing motivation to do the action.
In the second example, the person is aware of the obstacle, but the emphasis is on the action (the intention of doing it) and therefore the person stays motivated.
This simple, subtle but effective tool is also applicable to the communication with our children.
4 Tips to start using Constructive Communication
NEGATIVE SPEECH, AVOID IT as much as you can, knowing of course that sometimes it is just necessary to say no.
EMPHASIZE THE ACTIONS instead of the obstacles.
A LITTLE EXPLANATION. When you have to warn your kid about something do it, of course, but try to add a little explanation. That way your child will know that there is a reason behind and he or she will be able to understand the meaning as he/she grows up.
CONGRATULATE. Every time your infant follows the rules, surpasses himself, shows awareness and understanding don’t hesitate to congratulate him or her. Congratulate an achievement is a way of rewarding an action, so every time you congratulate your child, he/she will be not only building self-confidence and motivation but also assimilating that action as the way to go, otherwise said: learning.
Don’t hold it that way, it will fall down
No, you are doing it wrong, let me do it!
You cannot eat the candy before dinner
If you don’t pay attention, you will not you will not be able to do it
Try to hold it this way, it will be safer
That seems complicated, would you like me to show you?
You can eat the candy after dinner
If you pay attention, you will be able to do it
Benefits of using Constructive Communication
- Feeling more like teaching than commanding;
- Improving your communication;
- Being creative and more enthusiastic when explaining things to your child;
- Encouraging and helping your child’s personal development.
- Learning from your explanations and encouragement;
- Learning to better communicate;
- Gaining motivation and interest to keep trying;
- Building self-confidence