“Clean your room. Pick up your toys, Be nice to your brother. Stop running around. You’re gonna get hurt. Sit still. Why do I have to yell & repeat myself all the time for you to listen?
As we seek to Stop Battling & Start Connecting, an important anecdote to our constant demands and phrases like those above is to stop focusing our attention around & constantly highlighting all that’s not working, going wrong or not done well-enough.
To start truly connecting with our kids and get cooperation, then we need to flip our attention and focus on how our words can instead empower, motivate and encourage positive results on a deeper level with our children.
Let’s delete the critiques and begin validating the internal qualities and skills that our child is demonstrating in their efforts and actions. So here’s an example: If our child is running around and distracted during soccer class we might find ourselves getting frustrated and be inclined to yell out or pull our child aside and say, “What are you doing out there? You’re not paying attention. Do you even want to be here?” And off we go with the critiques.
When we come from a place of validation (we have an entire module about this on the course), perhaps during the next water break in the soccer class you can say, “Wow, you’re really running a lot out there today. It looks like you’re having fun and getting some good exercise. What do you think about checking in with coach to see what you can practice on since you’re doing so well with running?”
Then, if you see it’s still relevant, once the class is over you might want to check in and say, “So, how’d you like class today? I noticed you put good effort into (and fill in the blank with specific qualities and skills the child demonstrated). It was good seeing you do more of that.” And right there you’ve engaged in a more authentic and positive connection with your child. It is so much more valuable and reassuring for a child to hear more of what is working, good, thoughtful, helpful or insightful about what they’re doing so they are much more likely to repeat it.
Now go ACTIVATE your best parent! Take the week and weekend to implement this approach and observe what shifts you make between you and your child(ren).
As always, keep me posted as I love hearing from you or drop a note on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!