Google+ Authentic Parenting: Peaceful Parenting Toolbox: #3: Avoid Lengthy Explanations

Friday, January 28, 2011

Peaceful Parenting Toolbox: #3: Avoid Lengthy Explanations

In the heat of a difficult parenting situation, it is easy to fall into the trap of longwinded explanations. We as adults use these explanations to get our point across to other adults, but with children - even with teens - it doesn't work like that.

Image: Bixentro on Flickr
Even though your explanation may be completely rational, children will only 'hear' core words and aren't bothered by the larger context. Your lengthy remark will seem like preaching to them and in the best situation they'll just think you're whining.

Moreover, most parents expect their children to give short and to the point answers to the questions they ask, so why don't we give our children the courtesy to do the same?

I don't mean that there is never a place for explanation, but I feel they should be kept to a moment when the child is ready to receive them, ready to think with you, instead of being thought for. When your child has just spilled milk, there is no need to start an exposé about the economy of scarcity.

If you want to redirect your child, keep it short. If there is danger, act. Sometimes actions speak more than words.


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1 comment:

  1. OH YES Good point! I am notorious at talking more than I should during explanations to Abbey (2). Also, something my hubs pointed out to me, is that I LOVE to reinforce appropriate behaviors or successes with a new social skill by verbal observations (and hugs) but I do it at the worst times for moving and grooving Abbey. i.e. "Wow, John has a big smile on his face! He is so happy when you play nicely!" when she is still playing tag or something LOL

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