Tip #1

Take a few moments to really pay attention to the child.
  • Make the time to really listen
  • Patience and Persistence might still be required


Tip #2

Say what you want not what you don’t want.
  • Take the time to think ahead about what you want to say and what you want the outcome to be.
  • So often parents say what they don’t want such as “don’t make a mess” whereas saying what you do want is easier for the child to hear and remember “please keep it tidy and remember to clear up after you have finished”


Tip #3

Check yourself first – would you be happy to listen to you?
  • Many parents live such busy and high pressured lives which can cause the feeling of stress. Children have an amazing ability to pick up vibes whether negative or positive
  • Take time to make sure you are calm and relaxed before talking to your child.


Tip #4

Know that we all think differently, and your child may view things differently to you. It doesn’t make them wrong – just different.
  • Give clear instructions to all those you communicate with
  • Remember to give clear information that relates to the age of your child
  • The same style, tone and wording needs to be adapted to the age of the child
  • What works with a very young child will not work with an older child or a teenager.


Tip #5

Recognise if you are in a power struggle
  • Consider leaving it until a little later when things are calmer


Tip #6

Keep it simple and clear
  • Be clear with what you want to say and what you want them to do.
  • Being clear give less room for ambiguity or misunderstandings.
  • It will reduce the chances of things being forgotten and helps them remember what has been said.


Tip #7

Be ready to listen and hear other options
  • Talking with children can be so much fun and revealing as to what they are thinking about or their opinions of the world.
  • Asking for their opinions and taking time to listen can lead to some hilarious conversations
  • Remember to give both sides time to speak and be heard.


Tip #8

Don’t launch into it – make sure that you have their attention or work out when the best time to speak might be.
  • Always make sure you have the child’s full attention before giving an instruction


Tip #9

Give a countdown or time frame to work to
  • Life is easier when you know what to expect so giving a child a frame to work with can be very helpful and kind.
  • If a child is absorbed in something that they are enjoying it can be very annoying to have to stop.
  • Giving a child a countdown is a kinder way to know that they will have to prepare to stop.
  • As sudden stop can be very upsetting
  • Remember to be clear about what want your child to do and when they need to do it.


Tip #10

Check they understand by asking them to repeat it back to you
  • What a person says may not be what another person hears, and miscommunication and misunderstanding is so rife in life.
  • Doing your best to communicate effectively can be helped by checking that the child understands what you have said.
  • This allows you to check if they have been listening.
  • Ask them to repeat the instruction back to you, if the repeat it correctly that clarifies that your message was received.


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