How to talk so teens… Chapter 2: We’re still “making sure”

Here, we are close to the concept fo engaging cooperation, from How to talk so kids will listen…

Reading the book, and what some parents check with their teenager, I note that we do NOT check:
that he eats a good breakfast
that he does his homework
that he changes clothes
that he does not forget his things for school
that he practice his piano
what time he turns the lights off

But we check:
that he does bother his sister
that he doesn’t leave without telling us where
that he cleans up his stuff that are lying around
that he doesn’s spend too much time on his computer

In this chapter, it is suggested we change our approach a bit:

Rather than checking and being in control mode, communicate with the same techniques that are outlined in the chapter on cooperation of How to talk… supplemented by a few others which are not new, but are good to see again, and try and finally use!

1 – Rather than give orders (« Put this slice of pizza back! »), describe the problem (« it’s a small pizza, there is only one slice per person. »)
2 – Rather than attack the teen’s character (« I can’t count on you! »), describe what it feels like (« I’m disappointed, I thought that you’d do this before my return… » – Note the message I, and no « you disappoint me »)
3 – Instead of blaming your teen (« Look what you’ve done with my sweater! »), give information (« it’s a good idea to check the label before putting the laundry on. »)
4 – Instead to threatening, or giving orders, again, (« There is no way you wear that at the restaurant! If you don’t change, you stay home! »), give a choice (« we’re going to a fancy restaurant. You can wear a clean shirt, or hide this one under a sweater. »)
5 – instead of a long speech (« How many times have I told you not to put your bag on the counter? »), just use a word (Lise, your bag. »)
6 – instead of pointing out what’s wrong (« You’re being mean to your sister, you keep on criticizing her »), expose our values and expectations (« I don’t like people being put down in our family. If there is something that you think may be useful to your sister, I expect that you tell her in a way that is not offensive. »)
7 – instead of reacting angrily, react unexpectedly. (Going back to humor, as discussed in   Liberated parents…)
8 – instead of harassing, write a note.

Back to the book post

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