Communication with Children

Children are not word oriented when it comes to logically telling them what we, as parents, expect.  Mom asks Jenny.  “Have you cleaned up your room yet?”   “No.” she replies, “I’m watching my show.  I’ll do it later.”  An hour later mom passes by and says, “Isn’t that show off yet?”  “Yeah, but just a few more minutes. I’m watching another show now,” says Jenny.  Mom says; “Jenny you get up there right now and clean your room.”  “I will” Jenny says more intensely, while she continues to watch her program.  “Come on,” mom says, “Do it right now!”  “I don’t want to, you never let me see this show and it’s only on at this time,” snaps Jenny.  “You go to your room right now,” screams mom, grabbing her by the arm.  “Stop – Stop,” yells Jenny.  “You’re hurting me.  You’re mean and stupid, I don’t like you.”  Mom winces at these words and gets mad.  “That’s enough out of you, you’re going to your room and you’re grounded from T.V. for a week”  “Ouch, ouch, you’re hurting me.  You don’t like me and you’re mean, Jenny says as she’s half dragged and half walks to her room, with mom grabbing her arm to get her there.

Parents are often puzzled by arguments with their children.  They argue and use their best logic to teach children what they want them to do.  The problem is that children aren’t logical on our terms when they don’t want to do what we ask.  Children aren’t word oriented when it comes to complying with us, although they are word oriented in manipulating us about what they don’t want to do.  Communicate clearly what you expect from children and back your words up with calm, secure, non-angry actions.  This process will cause you to be believed on the child’s term and make you as parents less frustrated with the results.

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