We’re huge fans of Love & Logic one-liners for kids. Without even knowing it, my husband curated a list of responses akin to those responses offered by parenting experts to help adults better respond to kids during tough moments.
How do we get kids to listen? I have a few ideas for you to tuck away in your back pocket, to practice communicating with kids. Over time, these repsonses will seem like second nature to you. I promise.
How to Respond to Kids Effectively
Ranking up there with communicating with a toddler and helping kids resolve conflict, this question is tough and rightfully so. I do have a few ideas to share with you that work well in our home. Let me know how they work for you!
Respond to Kids with these rock star phrases and you are on your way to communicating better than ever! Communicating with kids is tough. Learn more about five responses that work to communicate with kids more effectively during challenging moments. I am not the perfect parent. I try really hard though. I read a lot. I heed advice from many friends and family members. So, here are five effective responses (honed down from many, many more) that I’ve tested with my sons.
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” – Anne Frank
How to Get Kids to Listening Today (Not Tomorrow)
Put an End to Potty Talk
“Do heros say ‘stupid’?” My husband rocks this one. My boys are obsessed with heros in myths, especially. So my husband says to them, ‘talk like a hero.’ It works.
On Not Giving Up
“You are good at hard things.” What child doesn’t have trouble when he reaches a challenge? Most do. My husband also coined this one. Reminding our children that hard things are not something to be afraid of but instead to embrace works.
Help Me, Help You
“We are problem solvers in this family.” So we’ve stumbled upon an obstacle. ‘Mom, I can’t do this…I need your help.’ Are we adults always going to put that puzzle piece in its right spot or wedge that lego to fit just right? If we give our children the opportunity to solve their own problems, they’ll not only learn that ‘skill’ but they’ll gain a huge amount of self confidence. Tough to beat that result. Model the patience required to finish a task or creatively problem solve with your children by asking them questions. For example, a few weeks ago my 3 year old was having trouble getting into a bouncy house. He was frustrated and asked for my help. So I asked him: ‘what if you stood back a bit and got a running start?’ Sure enough, he made it on his second try.
Telling on Other Kids
“You need to go speak to him about it. Would you like me to come with you?” or “What did he say when you let him know how it made you feel?” My biggest pet peeve is the tattle tale. Kids always seem to whine directly and immediately to the nearest adult. Encouraging children to speak directly to their peer about the behavior may be daunting for the child. So, at first, guide him by saying: ‘let him know that you didn’t like it when he hit you. Ask him nicely to not hit again, or maybe just say, ‘No, thank you.’ Also, asking the child ‘that’s sounds rough. How did J feel when you told him how that made you feel?’
Lack of Empathy
“You’re a kind person. Kind people do not treat others in that way.” I speak truthfully. My sons are kind people. Let’s be honest, most children are kind at heart. What they are not naturally is empathetic. The world seems to revolve around each and every one of them for what seems like an eternity. Here is the thing, though, we adults can guide children and model empathy. I remind my sons that they are kind. Then I ask them “how they would feel if…” and “how do you think she feels after you called her ‘stupid’?” They stop and they think about…that moment of reflection is enough to nurture emotional development.
If you are loving these responses, I wrote a guide for parents that includes many more tips on communicating with kids.
Also, here are a few of my favorite books to teach children about their feelings in case you’re interested! Enjoy!
What are your key ‘go to’ responses? Please share them!
I hope that we inspired you today!