- Focus your attention on what they do well.
What we focus on is what we get more of. Children need attention from you so give them attention when they do something well and they learn to do that thing more often as it gives them positive attention.
- Use a feedback sandwich.
When you want a change in behaviour comment first on what you like about them, then suggest what would be even better (what you’d like to see more of or less of) and finish on a good note; overall what you are pleased about.
- Tell them what you do want.
Using the word ‘don’t’ draws attention to what you don’t want them to do. Instead reword the instruction telling them what you want them to do.
- Avoid the word ‘try’ as it suggests they won’t succeed.
Just tell them to do it!
- Show them the behaviour you want.
Demonstrate by example how you want your child to behave. They learn from you!
- Keep your tone low and slow.
The more out of control you sound, the more they will tune out.
- Ask them what they think they should do.
Encourage them to work things out for themselves and be resourceful then use the feedback sandwich.
- Step into their shoes.
A child’s world is very different from ours. They are not deliberately being difficult they simply see things in a different way. Understand that way and you’ll have to key to influencing them.
- Be specific about feedback.
When commenting on what your child has done well, point out the specific skill or quality so they learn from the feedback rather than generalising.
- Decide whether they use a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic preference and match it.
Children have a preference whether they notice what they see, hear or do. Adapt your choice of words to match this and you will connect and communicate effectively.
Judy Bartkowiak is the author of Teach Yourself: Be a happier parent with NLP and the Engaging NLP series of workbooks. They are available on her website www.nlpkids.co.uk . Book an appointment on 01628 660618