Originally written and posted by By JENNIFER LEHR at https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-right-way-to-speak-to-children-1483711019
Parents often use phrases like “Good job!” and “Say thank you” when they talk to their children. But what do those phrases really mean?
Parentspeak—it’s a language that no one sets out to learn but that most of us can’t help
speaking. If you have children or work with them—or if you’ve ever talked to a child--
you probably speak it too. There may be an infinite number of ways to say something,
but the way that American adults talk to kids is often as limited as it is predictable.
If our kids are climbing, we implore, “Be careful!” If two toddlers are grabbing the same
toy, we tell them, “Share!” When saying goodbye, we ask, “Where’s my kiss?” When they
eat broccoli, we exclaim, “Good job!” And so on.
I was recently talking with my emotional coach about my Healthy Parenting Resources business. This conversation began with the expression of my frustrations around another business that I started, but have been feeling stagnant in. When talking about the work I do with children and families, he pointed out the passion and excitement he saw in me. I think he actually said that I "light up!" This was not the case for my other business, and he challenged my thinking about both. During the process of his helping me think about both businesses differently, he suggested that I capture on paper the benefits that families receive for themselves and for their children from the coaching that I provide. It never occurred to me to do this, but when he suggested it, I decided to give it a go! So here I am, capturing the benefits on virtual paper, hoping to clearly share with others what I see as the life-long benefits of learning and practicing Respectful Parenting.
Originally written by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.
Originally published in Mothering Magazine, Fall 1992. Revised and updated in 2000.
As concerned parents and educators have become aware of the dangers of physical punishment, time-out has emerged as a popular disciplinary tool. Misbehaving children are told to sit quietly on a chair or go to their rooms to calm down and think about what they did. After a period of time, they are allowed to come back to the group or join the family, provided that they act "appropriately." The designated period of time is usually one minute per year of age, and children who leave the chair or room before their time is up are told to return for the full allotment once again. Some books recommend an added rule of silence, and suggest that the timing be repeated if the silence is broken. In either case, parents who use this method are promised quick and easy results.
The idea of failing isn't something that sits well with me. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and moving outside my comfort zone to embark on something new or challenging can make me feel things that I would rather not feel. But I'm learning that one of the best ways to grow and improve in anything, is to do something I've never done before.
Learn about the importance of responding to children's aggressive behaviors respectfully on this podcast by Janet Lansbury...