How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen – 5 Quick Lessons

If you have a young child, you understand that it’s not as easy as some may think it is! ALL. THAT. DEFIANCE! When you pick up How To Talk so Little Kids Will Listen, you are most definitely in good hands. A book I will recommend until the end of my days, here are 5 quick lessons from the book of the week: How To Talk so Little Kids Will Listen

1 – Yelling doesn’t work

Look, we all get frustrated, and we all have our limits! Young kids, do not care about those limits, and you may be unpleasantly surprised by how you react to that blatant disregard for your boundaries. The sleep deprivation sometimes involved, doesn’t help your case either! If you’ve yelled, you’re not alone, but understand that it was absolutely ineffective and often has the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. In How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen, the authors Joanna Faber and Julia King give countless examples of effective ways to communicate with the littles none of which involve you losing your cool, or your sanity.

If someone simply acknowledged and accepted your feelings, some of your misery would be soothed.

How to talk so Little Kids will listen – Joanna Faber & Julie King

2 – The tender hearts of the little guys

We’re not raising wild animals here, though sometimes their behaviour and animal-like screeching may confuse you, these are in fact human children. As human beings, they have a long way to grow emotionally, and don’t possess the maturity that we have to not get overwhelmingly upset over minor setbacks. The authors of How to Talk so Little Kids will listen often challenge the readers to emphasize with the littles, by acknowledging instead of dismissing their feelings. If you’re not a fan of meltdown, give them other outlets to express their frustration, teach them new vocab, get them to paint or draw angry pictures, or rip up scrap paper! Teach them to navigate their new, and often confusing overwhelming emotions.

Correcting, lecturing and interrogating our children when they have a negative reaction to something is not only detrimental, it worsens the bad mood.

How to talk so Little Kids will listen – Joanna Faber & Julie King

3 – Don’t ask questions when they’re upset

If you were having the worst day ever after getting pulled over by the cops, then stuck in a snow ditch and then written up for being late when you finally arrived to work late again… the last thing you want to hear is “why didn’t you leave earlier? Why didn’t you just set an alarm? Why were you speeding?” Do you hear the judgmental undertones of such questions? Return to point #2, and find a way to show your child that you feel their pain when they’re upset, and allow them the space to feel things.

“I’m so cold and alone, if only there were some warm feet that could help me warm up!”

How to talk so Little Kids will listen – Joanna Faber & Julie King

4 – Be more silly

Kids LOVE to laugh! So when it comes to the endless battles before bedtime, bathtime and mealtimes, try to lighten up the mood with some good-natured humor. Think of comedians like Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler and all of the voices and faces they have in their repertoire and really go to town! Give life to inanimate objects “I’m so hungry feed me BLOCKS!” (says the toy box). Don’t just leave the park, race them to the car every single time! Too often we mistakenly think that expensive trips are what the kids will remember most, but we’re wrong. It’s the mundane, everyday tasks like the bedtime routine and bathtime that will makeup most of their memories of us. So be aware, and be hilarious.

It’s human nature! We’re stuck with it and our children are no different. We resist being told what to do. Direct orders provoke direct opposition. When we give children commands. we are working against ourselves.

How to talk so Little Kids will listen – Joanna Faber & Julie King

5 – Ask the kids

Young children from 2-7 are very hard to control, because they are newly independent have the instinct to become more autonomous and in control themselves. THAT’S a good thing! Though it can be annoying to be bossed around by a threenager, find places to give them control. Whether it’s what they choose to wear, how they set up their room, or even something small like what you guys eat for dinner once in a while, this sense of control and participation in their lives builds their confidence and will turn them into confident, independent little futures successes! Have boundaries (always) but let them participate in their own lives! In my house at bedtime he gets to choose what he wants first, a book or a bath? Or a book in the bath! He never chooses the same answer twice.

Every week I say the exact same thing; Go read the book! 5 quick lessons is just the very tip of the humongous iceberg! This book is filled with countless practical examples that we can use to be better at communicating with young kids to help this precious stage be a smooth one filled with giggles. So do yourself a solid and get yourself a copy of the book! You won’t regret it!

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