Have you ever tried to communicate something you your child and felt like they were not hearing you?
You might have even been trying to explain something simple but all you got back was alot of resistance and argument.
This article explains the “skill of using questions” in your communication to avoid conflict and back talk.
Communicate with Questions For Better Child Behavior
Any parents who have ever had a battle of wills with their children probably understand the frustration and conflicting emotions that are involved. Parents can remove a great deal of the tension in their relationships with their children by adjusting their parenting style to move away from the dictatorship style of telling children what to do and move toward a method that includes asking children for their ideas and giving them choices.
While many parents might have grown up in an environment where the mantra was, “Because I said so,” it does not always make for peaceful and effective parenting. Giving children flat commands as the main source of communication leaves them feeling insignificant. They often resist, trying to assert their independence, and often conflicts, arguments, and yelling are the results. It becomes a battle of wills to see who will outlast the other, and in the end no one wins. As children resort to back talking, parents resort to ultimatums, and their relationships can be damaged in the process.
Positive parenting is at the heart of solving this type of situation. The solution lies in asking children questions, inviting their input and ideas, and encouraging children to think for themselves. It can be challenging for parents to adjust their parenting methods, and working to include children in decision processes might take some practice. Instead of asking children to clean their rooms, which leaves open the option that a child could say “no”, parents should use open-ended questions. An example of a proactive question a parent could ask instead is, “After you finish cleaning your room would you like to play a game with me or go to the mall?” This approach defines the task that must occur, and then gives the child motivating options for completing the task. The answer involves acknowledging that there is a responsibility to be accepted. Allowing children to have a vested interest in the outcome gives them the independence that they are so often seeking through their rebellions.
Using this approach does not mean that children have to be rewarded for every time they agree to do something. Parents need to make sure they aren’t putting themselves in situations where they are in effect bribing their children. When kids are given choices, the choice is not about whether they will complete the task. The choice is about the positive or negative outcome that will accompany the completed task. Bribing children to complete tasks sets up unrealistic expectations and should be avoided. Giving options and asking for input includes the children in the process, but still requires that the goal be met. Every time there is an activity that needs to be done parents don’t need to give multiple options, but regularly including children in the decision process gives them confidence in their part of the relationship and helps them to feel respected, which are things that most children are striving to do as they mature. Using this approach parents will often find that they have fewer arguments and better communication with their children, something that all families can use a little more of in their lives.