Psychologists Share 9 Rules That Can Help You Find a Common Language With Your Child
Conflicts with a child inevitably arise in any family. Psychologists say that the most common causes of such conflicts are a violation of a child’s boundaries, which kids begin to feel at the age of 3 years. Kids actively resist their parents’ instructions. This assertion of independence can continue through the ages of 3, 7, and 9, taking different forms. So how can you find a common language with your child?
At Bright Side, we’ve begun to explore how teaching a child the necessary rules of behavior can bypass some sharp corners and show them that they are important.
9. Find advantages
Nobody likes critics. If you try to remember your feelings when getting harsh criticism or bans, then you will understand the wave of indignation that rises within your child.
The irritation experienced by kids prevents them from making contact, resulting in not speaking about fulfilling things that are asked from them. Learn to soften your criticism, although sometimes it is very difficult. Use criticism plus praise and you’ll get a result that is completely different!
8. Offer a choice
Following the regimen or doing household duties are of course, necessary. And often the resistance is not caused by the fact that it needs to be done but by the strict voice. Suggest a choice — but not too wide, remember your kid’s age.
The possibility to choose and make a decision greatly increases self-esteem and you will still have control over the behavior of your child.
7. Don’t distract a kid from important deals
Such a simple rule for parents is often difficult to fulfill, simply because most of the child’s affairs seem unimportant to us. Do you ever think, “Are you collecting Legos? So what, it’s just a game, and your mom needs to talk to you right now,” or “Are you talking with your friend? Anyway, you are talking about nonsense and your grandmother wants to show you how to make pancakes.”
It is necessary to not depreciate the actions of the child and try to prioritize yours at the same time. Respect their personal space. Imagine how an adult would react in the child’s position.
One great solution to this problem is asking the child if he or she can postpone whatever they’re doing for a moment.
6. Be able to backslide
When an adult is playing with a child, it’s often assumed in their mind that all the rules of the game were “formed” a long time ago. We think that forcing a kid to follow the rules is a good educational moment because in adult life, there are many “necessary” rules we have to abide by, even if we don’t want to.
But what about creativity, initiative, and imagination? For an adult, these will come in handy better than being stuck in a box. Let the child come up with their own rules and call the game differently. Suddenly, the new game might be much more fun and exciting than usual. And if not, this is a great illustration of how something new is not necessarily better but still worth trying.
5. Don’t impose your help
How much patience can you have when your child is doing something for a long time and they keep making mistakes? You just want to take whatever they’re doing from them and quickly do it yourself!
“Turn on your zen” and try not to impose your help unless it’s completely necessary. Do you want your kid to grow up being confident? Then you must have patience and not offer help until he/she asks. The phrase, “Let me do it for you!” does not bring anything good and kills the initiative. Let your child make his/her own mistakes.
And even if your child asked for help, evaluate how well they can cope with the task themselves. If your child is handling the task pretty well, offer to make another attempt yourself.
4. Ask for advice
When you are consulted with, it’s very nice and means that your opinion is appreciated. Requests for advice are especially effective with younger children. At this age, they are eager to take on more responsibility.
Ask them direct questions and for their help in making decisions. This will allow the kid to feel like an adult, showing them that you trust what they have to say.
3. Empathize your child
When our children talk about their problems, we feel sorry for them and want to immediately teach them all the right actions. Phrases like, “I told you!” burst out of us automatically. Moms can often get nervous, worry, or give advice and judge — all these things can potentially push the child away.
Don’t go from the top-down position and don’t underestimate the worries of the child. Be close to him/her. Does your kid want to cry? Let him/her cry. Let them understand that their feelings are important and calmly discuss the situation and the way they can remedy it.
2. Discuss hypothetical situations
Discussing hypothetical situations about other children and parents or discussing films and books is a pretty effective technique if you want the child to discover concepts on their own. But the key to success is a calm environment and the child’s desire to discuss the topic.
Example question: “Jason started to fight pretty often. Why do you think he is doing that? Can his parents help him?”
An important point to remember is when discussing imaginary situations, you don’t need to return the child to “reality” with questions like, “Are you familiar with this situation?” Don’t think that the child will not understand your trick. If the situation is close to him/her, your kid will ponder on it without your guidance as well as hear everything that you want to convey to them. Shifting the situation to better fit the child’s basic understanding will destroy all the “magic”.
1. Remember to use humor
If not parents, who will teach a child that humor helps to cope with difficult moments and defuse situations?
Funny parodies, talking toys and objects, and the ability to just laugh together when watching a cartoon — all of these create a fun atmosphere for a family. Showing your acting abilities and having fun with fantasy teaches your child to do the same. In addition, many problems are resolved faster, not through rules, but with the help of humor.
Be careful to keep it light — children react very sharply to sarcasm and rough banter.
Do these pieces of advice from psychologists resonate with you? What methods and tricks do you use while communicating with your kid? Please share them in the comments!