Did you know there are ways to get children to WANT to listen? A child’s behavior can be redirected when we take the time to listen to what they are trying to tell us. When we acknowledge how they are feeling we can guide them to where we want them to go. It is important to remember that children have feelings and frustrations that overwhelm them. We are their guide when they’re feeling overwhelmed and out of control.
- Acknowledge your child’s perspective- Show your child empathy, when you acknowledge your child’s feelings it sends a message that you care and understand. Instead of saying, “Why are you crying?” say, “I can see that your angry, can you tell me why?” When children are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, they’re bodies go into fight or flight mode and they react instead of responding, by reacting their heart rate goes up and are no longer in a calm state. When we help our children label their emotions and teach them how to respond to others instead of reacting to situations, we teach are children to be better listener and to be kind.
- Allow your child to express how he’s feeling-Instead of reacting to your child’s emotions and behaviors describe the behavior when it happens, instead of saying, “Why are you screaming!” try “I heard you yell from across the room is everything okay? , or “ Can you tell me what happened? It could be a sibling took a toy without asking or hit him without you seeing. Responding in a calm state when responding to situations helps children to feel safe.
- Teach your child to take deep breaths- Showing your child breathing techniques helps them understand there are healthier ways of managing their emotions. Children who practice deep breathing learn self-control and self-regulating skills at are needed in make them lifelong learners in the community.
Let us not forget, children don’t set out to make our days difficult, children seek acceptance and want to be understood and accepted.