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How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7

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Reading this book, I’ve felt really guilty. All the things in this book that they’re telling you NOT to do, are exactly what I was doing before. I was using rewards, I was using threats, I was using the timeout corner. I was using all these different methods and still pulling my hair out because they weren’t working. But I love how this book also sympathizes with the parents. The authors are parents as well and have been in your shoes. They tell you that it’s okay to be angry from time to time, it only means you’re human. They reassure you that it’s not too late to instill these new rules to create a more loving and trusting household.

Give information about the problem rather than accusations. Instead of saying, “You’re ruining the floor,” try “Water on the floor can seep through and ruin the ceiling below.” Haven’t used it yet but I love the phrasing “Alfie will join you (or whatever) when he’s ready” in social situations where he’s feeling shy. Pencil out exactly how your child feels, this will help them to calm down, stop screaming and crying will lead to maturity. This same logic is precisely why powerpoint presentations have such a dopamine effect, a good powerpoint provides the illusion of completeness, clear, compelling and memorable. At a minimum, you will feel better after having a visual medium represent your concerns. Same applies to your child. Describing progress when the goal hasn’t been fully achieved: “You got the shoe over your toes! Now let’s push it all the way on.”Show your child how to make amends. ‘Your sister got scared when she was pushed. Let’s do something to make her feel better’” (93). Imagine complaining to a friend about something at work and they respond by a) blaming you; b) questioning your reaction; c) offering unsolicited advice; d) offering fake pity; e) psychoanalyzing you — you’d probably be annoyed. So, yeah. Don’t do that to your kid. All kids want to connect, all kids want to be understood, all kids want a say in what they do and how they do it.” Express your feelings . . . Strongly! ‘HEY, I don’t like to see people being pushed” (92)! Common sense thought from a kid: “I don’t care what you like.” Book’s comic book example (129): Instead of Mom saying, “You’re going to your room! And no dessert for you tonight” & Kid saying “I don’t care!”, Mom should say, “I’m upset! I don’t like what I see!” And the authors really think the kid will care more about how mom feels than about missing out on dessert? HA! Imagine being at work and your boss doesn’t like your work. What will you care more about: The boss saying, “I don’t like what I see” or the boss not paying you for the day’s work? The truth is that people are selfish; most will care more about themselves over other people’s feelings. I tried the book’s suggestion anyway: “I don’t like the toys being on the kitchen floor.” Kid ignored me and didn’t clean them up. FAIL. Deeper Connection and " How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen " empowers parents to connect with their children on a deeper level. It offers insights into understanding children's emotions and needs, helping parents build trust and mutual understanding. This deeper connection forms the foundation of a loving and supportive family environment.

I could pull over and stop, get out of the car, open the door where his car seat is, and retrieve the thing. That would stop the tantrum before it starts, but it would teach him that he is welcome to have his way whenever he threatens me with a tantrum. One study found that when people are offered large monetary rewards to complete a challenge, their creativity and engagement in the task plummets. Rewards helped people perform well on some very simple mechanical tasks, but as soon as they needed cognitive skills, rewards interfered with their ability to function.” Praise generously, but wisely. Be specific and descriptive when doling it out; instead of “You’re a great artist!” try “I like how the zig-zags follow the squiggles — how did you think of that?”Appreciate their work and effort, not their traits. This shows kids evidence of their own talents and lets them draw their own conclusions about what they might do with those talents. Otherwise, you’re confining them by telling them who and what they are. Make a sign that says kitchen open at 7AM so that your child knows not to come into the kitchen until 7AM. This book is not about training or teaching your children, rather simply how to motivate them. I think that should preface the book, however it does not. I fear that some people may use this as an end all be all for their parenting, and I think that would be a very incomplete view of parenting.

Getting a consequence and a punishment….the child is still getting pain in the hope of changing their behaviour. Kids who get a lot of praise early tend to flounder in middle-school because they’ve done it. They start to think “So what?” When a child has been told that they are good, why would they risk their status to do another worksheet of math problems? If a child has been complimented in a descriptive way, they will proceed and progress. The kids who are told they are smart or bright tend to struggle when they encounter difficult problems. When they struggle, they might fail to rise to the challenge. Kids need affirmation to build a healthy degree of self-esteem but don’t overdo it or they could wind up feeling like the world owes them everything they want. There’s a spectrum that starts at “confident” and ends at “entitled” — aim for the former. Real Success What sets this book apart is the inclusion of few real success stories from families who have implemented its techniques. These stories serve as powerful testimonials to the effectiveness of the strategies presented. Readers can draw inspiration and confidence from the experiences of others who have transformed their family dynamics.Complex questions are an opportunity to explore something, so don’t brush them off with oversimplified answers. Ask them why they asked and what they think. Kids who are punished through corporal punishment are more likely to misbehave in the future, according to some studies. Of course, in longitudinal studies of those children, it’s hard to know how much personality/self discipline play into these decisions. If you’re in a rush in the morning and struggle to get your kids ready to go in time, put your kids to bed in their next-day clothes instead of pajamas (236). One of the keys to successful problem solving is to wait for a time when the mood is right. It can’t be done in the midst of frustration and anger. After the storm has passed, invite your child to sit down with you.” Don’t bullshit them when you don’t know something; encourage them to ask friends or family who might have a better answer.

My son ALWAYS takes forever to eat his dinner. It’s a constant battle with him. I’m always telling him “Eat another bite of your food.” “Three more bites.” “Why are you taking so long to eat?” “You can’t just drink juice, you need food too.” It’s gotten exhausting. But I used a tool where I was playful with him. I made dinner into a game and said “I don’t think you can eat your potatoes before me!” So then it was whoever could eat their potatoes first. I let him win of course, which made him absolutely thrilled. He also cleaned off his plate, which NEVER happens! And even more astonishing, he even reached for seconds! I had a proud mama moment. In a negotiation, a long pause is sometimes the most effective tactic to come to an agreement. With kids, the same is true. Let your child know that you aren’t trying to monopolize their mind. Stop talking so much. Be comfortable with silence. You will be happier at work, with your spouse and your kids.Let’s face it if you tried to read every parenting book out there — your kids would be in their late teens, if not early adulthood, by the time you put even a small dent in the great heap of expert parenting advice available. The impossible task seems even more unrealistic for parents of little kids since most of your literary opportunities are wrapped up in reading out loud to them. So when it comes to parenting advice like learning how best to talk so kids will listen, quality is always more helpful than quantity. Children need us to validate their feelings so they can become grown-ups who know who they are and what they feel. We are also laying the groundwork for a person who can respect and not dismiss the needs and feelings of other people.” However, when we started implementing the strategies in the book and started saying: “Erik, it’s time to go upstairs. Would you like to go upstairs like a frog or like a cow?” Or if there is a book that we were reading that day and that he loves, we’d ask him to act like something in the book. For instance, the thing he’s really into right now is robots, because of his love for the book “ Love Z“. So if we say, “Doyou want to go upstairs like a robot?Or do you want to skitter like a mouse?” (because of his love for the book “ Mouse Mess“), and then he’ll skitter like a mouse upstairs. The younger the child, the shorter and simpler your directives should be. Consider your child’s level of understanding. For example, a common error parents make is asking a three-year-old, “Why did you do that?” Most adults can’t always answer that question about their behavior. Try instead, “Let’s talk about what you did.” 13. When You Talk to Kids, Speak Socially Correct

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