Three Steps to Effective Communication with Your Child
Any time that you communicate to your child you can convey the message in a positive or a negative way.
Guess which way is more likely to gain your child’s cooperation, bring them closer to you and increase their self-esteem?
The positive way, of course. Yet, too often parents draw attention to negative behaviors while positive steps go unnoticed.
Let’s look at three changes you can make.
1. Use positive communication.
Instead of the negative: “Haven’t you gotten your toys picked up yet? I can’t believe that you’re so slow! I asked you 10 minutes ago to clean up!”
Communicate the positive: “I see that you got the Legos cleaned up. Good job! I’ll set the timer for 5 minutes and let’s see if you can get the rest of the toys cleaned up!”
2. Use rewards rather than punishments.
Instead of the negative: “No books tonight! I had to keep bugging you to get ready for bed.”
Communicate the positive: “If you brush your teeth and put PJs on without me asking tonight, you’ll get an extra book.”
3. Give positive attention for positive actions.
Instead of the negative: “If you can’t share, I’m taking this toy away.”
Communicate the positive: “You’re doing an awesome job sharing with your brother right now! High five!”
The motto we should incorporate into our parenting is this: “Catch them being good!”
I’m going to challenge you in the next year to find three times a day when you can acknowledge a positive behavior of your child’s, rather than a negative one. That would be 1,000 more positive statements your child would here each year. Imagine the impact!
For more great strategies on effective communication and becoming the best parent you can be check out “The Ultimate Parenting Toolkit: Solutions to Your Top 10 Parenting Problems”
Article written by Toni Schutta, Parent Coach and Licensed Psychologist. Interested in psychology? Online masters degree in psychology now available.