Try using fewer words when giving instructions. We’ve all heard the phrase “less is more” yet many of us still have a tendency to over explain, issue lengthy instructions or get carried away when ‘telling off’.
Here are some tricks to help:
- Grab a ‘Breather Minute’ before saying anything. STOP what you are about to say and take a deep breath!
- Think about what you will say and what you will not say. Rehearse it in your head: ‘Sam, pick up your shoes, please’, ‘Jen, you need to clean up your room’ etc.
- The hardest bit is to stop there, but don’t get carried away with: ‘you never do this!’ and ‘why do I have to say it all the time?’ and ‘I cannot believe that!’… all this just makes us angry and winds us up to a point where we can lose our temper completely!
- So say it once, explain why once and then just repeat what you have already said, using the same words in a calm but firm and low tone.
- If need to go, to, gentle ignoring: Walk away (or stay close by) – ignore the behaviour, not the child! As soon as the behaviour improves or the ‘negative’ behaviour weakness reengage with child straight away – since sends a signal ‘I do want to be with YOU, but don’t want that BEHVAIOUR’. It’s so important to engage with child as soon as the ‘negative’ behaviour improve or weakness since that is the difference between : Ignoring the child > < ignoring the behaviour and Punishment > < teaching
- Gentle ignoring shows that you are not ignoring the child but the behaviour and that you are willing to talk and engage when she has calmed down
And remember that NOT being brief leaves room for doubt and negotiation! From the ParentingSuccess Team