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How to Talk So Children Listen

Learn how to talk to children listen in this Howcast video about child anxiety issues.


I'm going to talk about how to talk so children can listen. I think the thing is the parents sometimes have to realize is that, depending what you're trying to talk about, it can vary. Children don't often have a listening problem. It's a communication between people problem. So the first thing is to realize that talking to your kids so they listen means fully engaging with your child. So what you want to do is make sure you're actually looking at that child. It may mean getting down to their level. It may mean getting their attention, so that you're actually ready to have a conversation. Then listening means that you're actually hearing what they say and give them a chance to talk, so that you listen to them. And that way, you can have a discussion about something. And then there's a conversation that can happen.

So you understand maybe and acknowledge. Don't necessarily agree with how they feel about something, but you want to talk about how you may be understanding how they feel about something. You can be in charge of the decision, but you don't necessarily have to be in charge of how much, and when, and who's doing all the talking.

When you're talking to your kids, make sure that you set the stage correctly. You want to stop what you're doing and make sure that they stop what they're doing. There is no texting. There's no electronics around. It's really about focusing on each other, and then you want to get down to their level. You want to make sure you have eye contact, no matter what the age of the child is. And you want to make sure that you're not distracted. And if you really need to have a particular conversation with your child, make sure that you have enough time.

And it may be that you don't have the time at that moment to stop and listen to your child, but what you can say is I know what you want to tell me is really important. I'm going to save some time later when we have time to give it the attention it needs. So it's all about stopping and listening, and making the time to understand what your child needs to tell you, so that your child will make the time to listen to what you're going to tell them. You also always wanna praise your child when they are doing good listening, so that they understand what that looks like, and what it sounds like, and what it feels like. So down the road, when it's time to have a conversation everybody knows the right behavior.

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