[Day 6] Adjust and Change the Way We Communicate with our Children
The way parents speak to their children often affects the effectiveness of their communication. Therefore, parents should listen to their children’s opinions and adjust and change the way they communicate with their children.
“Mommy, can you please speak to me this way? Mommy, I know you love me, and I love you too. I’m sorry sometimes I make you angry because I do not listen to you. But Mommy, let me tell you a little secret: in fact, if you would just slightly change the way you speak to me, you will find I am actually very good. If you don’t believe me, just try and see:
A. Please tell me what I should do:
Instead of saying: Don’t run.
Please say: We walk when we are indoors.
Instead of saying: I’ve told you a hundred times not to draw on the wall.
Please say: Drawing must be done on paper.
B. Please be objective; direct your speaking at the object, not the person:
Instead of saying Why are you so naughty? Didn’t I tell you to put the books back on the shelf after you finished reading?
Please say: Books go back on the shelf after you are done reading them.
C. Please avoid negativity:
Instead of saying: Don’t speak to me in that tone of voice.
Please say: If you can speak to me in a calm voice like I am doing now, then I will be able to hear what you are saying.
Instead of saying: If you don’t put on your jacket, you cannot play outside.
Please say: We will go outside to play after you put on your jacket.
D. Please give me a plausible reason:
Instead of saying: Hurry up and pick up your jacket.
Please say: Hang up your jacket so that it won’t get stepped on.
Instead of saying: Don’t climb on the table.
Please say: Table is for eating on; you may climb on the stairs.
E. Please be specific: Give a specific name, a specific request:
Instead of saying: You got the CDs dirty.
Please say: Holding the CDs by its edges will not dirty the CD.
F. Make them aware of the consequences:
Instead of saying: Don’t hit Ming Ming.
Please say: It will hurt Ming Ming if you hit him.
G. When correcting my bad behavior, please indicate that you understand my feelings:
Instead of saying: Why did you hit Mary? Isn’t she your friend? How can you hit her?
Please say: I know you are very angry, but you cannot hurt Mary.
H. Please explain by using actions:
Instead of saying: Say “Good morning” to me.
Please say: Good Morning, YangYang.
I. I cannot stand long speeches:
Instead of saying: Now is not the time to play ball. Go study. You only know all day long to play. When I was your age, I would immediately read and study when I come home from school.
Please say: You can go out to play only after you finished your homework and reviewed what the teacher taught.
J. Try using a statement instead of a question:
Instead of saying: Wash your hands and come eat dinner, ok?
Please say: It’s dinner time. Hurry up and go wash your hands.
Instead of saying: Go to sleep after you finish reading, ok?
Please say: Go to sleep after you finish reading.
K. Please do not insult me:
Instead of saying: You’re a big boy. What can you do besides cry? You’re so useless.
Please say: I know you are feeling sad, but…
L. Give me the opportunity to choose:
Instead of saying: Don’t be so picky. Hurry up and put on this pink jacket.
Please say: Time is running out. Which jacket do you want to wear—pink or blue?
M. Do not punish me by holding back motherly love:
Instead of saying: If you don’t eat your dinner, Mama will not love you.
Please say: Concentrate on eating, it is dinner time now.
N. Sometimes I need an unspoken response:
Instead of saying: Why are you crying? You yourself lost your favorite toy.
Please say: Silently rub the child’s back.
O. Bring me to experience God together:
Instead of saying: I don’t know what to do either.
Please say: Oh, Mama also doesn’t know what to do. Let’s pray together.
Instead of saying: So what if Mama told a lie? Don’t speak to Mama this way; that is rude!
Please say: Yes, lying is not pleasing to God. Please pray for Mama that the Lord will transform me so that I will not lie anymore.
P. Please comfort me with the Lord’s love:
Instead of saying: It’s just a fish that died, and you cry and cry endlessly!
Please say: Oh Lord, Nana’s fish died. She is very sad. Lord, comfort her heart.
Q. Let me learn to be responsible to the Lord:
Instead of saying: Although Mama did not see it, I know you’re lying.
Please say: Mama did not see it, but the heavenly Father saw. You go back to your room and pray. We will talk later.
R. Help me build up confidence:
Instead of saying: Grace, why are you so useless. Why are you afraid to tell Auntie your name?
Please say: Your name means grace. Such a beautiful name. Next time, you need to speak up and tell Auntie your name. She surely will like your name.
S. Let me experience the power of prayer:
Instead of saying: You’re a boy. Why are you afraid of the dark?
Please say: If you are afraid of the dark, pray to the Lord and call on His name. He will be with you.
T. Please remind me with the Lord’s word:
Instead of saying: Why are you always complaining? I hate a child who always complains.
Please say: Remember what the Word says? In all things give thanks.
May the Lord bless us and our children!