How to talk

"How to Talk So Kids Will Listen..."






Communication with children should be based on respect and competence;

It demands:

(a) that the responses maintain the child's and parents' self-respect

(b) that recognition of feelings comes before advice or guidance.

Below are two possible examples of situations in which the course provides knowledge

in terms of specific methods and practical examples.

Upset child

An upset child comes home and says:

You know what? Just because I spoke to James during class, I had to stay behind after school!  The teacher is so stupid!

It is common for adults to respond somewhat similar to the points below:

  1. Denial of feelings:  There is no reason to get this angry. This was your own mistake.

  1. Questions: Why did you talk without raising your hand? Are you stupid? Don't you know that it's not allowed?

  1. Philosophical response: That's life. Things are not always fair. This will not be the last time you disagree in a decision.

  1. Compassion for the other party: Think of your teacher. How do you think it is trying to teach you something when you talk to someone else at the same time?

  1. Exaggerated empathy: Oh, you poor thing! You didn’t deserve to stay behind after school! Come here, dear, I’ll get you some ice cream, and everything will be better.

  1. Give advice: I know what you should do....


Both children and adults have been asked what they think this child feels after hearing these answers - some of the answers are "I feel stupid, have a bad conscience, feel defiance, mom/dad doesn’t understand anything" ...

What then should I adult say?

An upset child must meet the recognition of its feelings, regardless of whether or not you agree. Only after you have given the child your full attention, you can come up with advice and possible corrections.

During the course we will present 4 specific methods to recognize the feelings of a child.

Willing cooperation

One common domestic rule is that the children put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher when they have finished eating. Regrettably, in some homes this is rare. Most of the time the dishes are left on the dinner table or on the kitchen counter, just above the dishwasher ...

Below are some common communication methods we adults use in this situation:

Blaming and accusing: You never put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Why won’t you ever learn?

Name calling: You're a filthy animal! It will smell leftovers throughout the house!

Threats: If you don’t to put them in the dishwasher right away, then ...

Comparisons: I really wish you were more like your sister ...

Sarcasm: Oh, so you put them on the kitchen counter? You are really clever. Don’t you know that there is no secret code to open the door to the dishwasher?

Prophecy: Just keep on like this and you'll never get a girlfriend.

There is no one who wants to hook up with such a lazy bum.



These statements will only nurture defiance, bad conscience and poor self-esteem, thus resulting in anything but cooperation.

What then should I say?

If you want to create an atmosphere that invites cooperation, it must be done without accusations, evaluations, insults or the use of nicknames. Either describe the situation, provide information, or explain your own feelings about the current situation.

During the course you will be presented for 5 specific methods on how to obtain cooperation.

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