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  • Writer's pictureM Atkinson

Communicate towards a better family life

It’s about the way we phrase things. We’re used to pour a sauce of politeness over our communication with other adults, but also with children. Children can hear these politely formulated requests for what they are; questions that can be answered with a “no”. Don’t become background noise and reformulate polite non-questions, to authoritative (clear and fair) statements and notice the difference.


Some examples:

Before going out, don’t ask: “Do you need the toilet?”, but say: “Go and use the bathroom. I’ll wait here.”


Don’t ask: “Give it to mama, ok?”, but say: “Give it to mama.” And don’t ask: “Are you coming?”, but say: “We’re going, come on.”


Take 1 Asking or telling?


Parent: “Are you going to tidy up now?”


Child: “No.”


Parent: “Come on, it’s time to tidy so we can go.”


Child: “I’m still busy.”


Parent: “No, it’s time to tidy up, come on!”


Child: (thinking, unconsciously) All I hear is a whining mom/dad.


Parent: “Hello, do you hear me? I’m talking to you, it’s time to tidy up.”


Take 2 Asking or telling?


Parent: “It’s time to tidy up. We can go once you’re done.”


Child: “But I still want to play.”


Parent: “I see that, and it’s time to go now so I can help you tidy but playtime is over.”


Child: (reluctant) “Ok, can you help me?”


I am happy to help your family out in finding a communication style that works for you. Contact me and book your session!

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