Pointers: Talking to Children

When talking with your children follow these pointers from Jo Frost (Supernanny) in her book, Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children. (Page 73)

• Don’t scream and shout. Use the Voice of Authority [*] for bad behavior
• Praise your child when he’s behaving well.
• Try to talk to your child in a positive way as much as possible. Instead of always telling him what you don’t want him to do, try putting it in a different way. Instead of saying, “Don’t put your dirty hands all over the sofa.” Sau, “Let’s wash your hands now. They’re dirty. Then you can sit on the sofa and I’ll read you a story.”
• Don’t be abrupt or bark out commands. You’ll get instant resistance.
• Never use hurtful words or label your child. Make it clear it’s the bad behavior you don’t like, not your child.
• Be courteous.
• If your child shouts back at you, don’t rise to the bait. A screaming match does no one any good. Tell your child not to speak to you in that manner.
• Don’t compare your child unfavorably with his brothers and sisters, and never, ever talk about him to a third party within earshot. He might not look like he’s listening, but he’ll have caught every word.
• Don’t offer too many choices to a small child.
• Don’t bargain with her when she’s having a tantrum.
• Go large. Let her read your body language. Be playful in the way you talk to your child.

[*] The Voice of Authority according to this book (page 68) is not threatening. It is a low, firm, authoritative tone. Not an angry tone, not a threatening tone, not a belittling tone or a bargaining tone.

It is a tone that leaves the child in no doubt that the parent means business. It communicates displeasure.

It speaks clearly, calmly and sternly.

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