Winning Your Kids Over With Positive Discipline
CONNECT with emotions as you correct with respectful limits.
Listen to Emotions to Build Feelings of Trust and Cooperation
- When our children feel that we are listening to them with empathy, we build emotional connections and trust that creates cooperation.
- Focus on valuing and listening to their feelings without moralistic judgment of their feelings being bad/good or right/wrong.
- Respond empathetically, “I can see you are upset.” “Something seems to be bothering you.” “You don’t seem happy with my request.”
Children Need Respectful Limits
- Provides the security of rules before handling freedoms.
- Someone in charge.
- Someone who cares.
- Provides structure to bring out their best so they can feel good about themselves.
Understanding Communication Blocks: A communication block is when our responses to others feels hurtful.
This block often causes positive communication to stop. Children or adults may yell, hurt back, or shut down to express their inner hurt.
Interrogating: Hurtful message: You must have done something wrong
Child: “My teacher got mad at me today for no reason.”
Adult: “What did you do to make her mad at you?”
Commanding: Hurtful message: You don’t have the right to discuss how to handle your own problems.
Child: “I’ll do my homework later.”
Adult: “You have to do your homework now or you won’t go out this weekend.”
Placating: Hurtful message: You don’t have a right to your feelings. You can’t handle discomfort.
Child: “I hate this puzzle. I can’t do it.”
Adult: “Don’t worry. You’re really good at drawing. ”
Activity: Listening to Emotions Builds Cooperation
Which response acknowledges the child’ thoughts or feelings rather than your own thoughts or feelings?
You’ll see several that you’ll want to say. Yet, what do you think about your natural responses when you compare them to a more emotionally connected response?
Contact me for a complementary discovery session to discuss the answers.
1) (Child) My teacher got mad at me at school today.
- (Parent) What have you done to make her mad at you?
- (Parent) Let’s get together and talk with her to solve this problem.
- (Parent) It’s hard when you feel your teacher doesn’t like you.
2) (Child) I’ll do my homework later.
- (Parent) Hmm. I see. (Continue giving quiet attention to your child. Then try saying) It seems like there is some reason you don’t want to do your homework. (Be quiet and wait patiently for a response.)
- (Parent) Get your homework done first, and then you won’t have to worry about it.
- (Parent) Oh boy! Here we go again. You always hassle about doing your homework and I’m sick of it!
3) (Child) I hate this puzzle. I can’t do it.
- (Parent) Stop complaining. It’s a lovely puzzle.
- (Parent) You seem frustrated with this puzzle.
- (Parent) It isn’t as bad as it seems. You can do it.
If you want you and your spouse to be more united in an approach where you both learn how to connect with emotions before trying to correct misbehavior, read my article Family Harmony from A United Parenting Plan
©2014 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, [email protected],com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.