We have a couple of routinely heard phrases in our house that on the surface might seem just too simple to actually work but I love it when parenting is simple and with time, support, love and consistency, simple things can work well with kids. What are these phrases you might ask? Well, they are variations of the following;
“Use your words, please.”
“Mummy ears can’t hear whingy voices, please use your proper words so that I can hear you.”
We can support our children (whatever their age, once they are verbal) to take the time to stop and think and to ask for what they want rather than whining, yelling or complaining, and pointing and gesturing as they do so (in the case of toddlers). Let’s be clear – this doesn’t mean that they are going to be given what they ask for but it is a darn sight more likely that they will, or that we can reach a peaceful compromise, when they are speaking nicely and simply asking for what they need or want.
You might phrase your request differently, depending upon the age and development of your children but for me the key has been to keep it short and use it consistently, and offering help with finding the words for toddlers when necessary.
Do you have a standard phrase you use to encourage your children to stop, think and speak?
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