Stacey attended a lecture by at the end of last week. He was a dynamic speaker who spoke about parenting. Here are a few of his recommendations:
1. Turn around and respond to your child the first time they try to get your attention.
You can respond with your full attention, or by asking the child to please wait until you are ready.
2. Practice putting feelings into words.
When a child says something like, “I hate math/reading/sports,” you might be tempted to say, “Oh that’s not true” or something of that sort. Instead, he suggests you try, “It sounds like you’re feeling frustrated about math/reading/sports. Tell me more.”
3. Imagine W.A.I.T is on your child’s forehead to remind yourself “Why Am I Talking?”
He suggests thinking about being paid per word so that you are a better listener, and don’t confuse a child or the situation with too many words.
4. “Tell me more.”
This was perhaps his biggest take away. Whether your child tells you some fabulous news or something sad or difficult, he suggests that when you respond the first time, say “Tell me more.” You can add, “I want to hear about ….”
Using these techniques will help children know that you are being authentic with them and help to open the lines of communication between parent and child. Strong communication skills are lifelong assets.