INVITING COOPERATION & REDUCING CONFLICT
Discuss hot issues when you are both calm– When people are angry, adrenaline is released into the brain which lights up the amygdala (the emotional brain) making it very hard to be reasonable.
If things start to get heated, take a break…. After 20 minutes or so, adrenaline is reabsorbed by the body. Once adrenaline levels are reduced, both parties can be less reactive & more reasonable.
Don’t raise your voice or hit a child– Scaring a child releases adrenaline into their brain & you’ll have to start all over. Be firm but calm.
Be fair & respectful & expect the same- Model the behavior you want to see in your child. Children learn how to act by watching & copying key adults in their lives. You set the tone, not the child. Walk the walk.
Describe the problem as you see it– Use communication techniques that invite cooperation such as: I Messages, Active & Reflective Listening & Clarifying Statements.
Stick to the issue at hand-Don’t bring up the past.
Be brief & to the point- Say what you mean in as few words as possible then stop talking.
Now LISTEN-REALLY LISTEN – Ask for feedback/ input from your child. Just being heard reduces a child’s emotional temperature and makes them more likely to hear/ process what you are saying. So listen to your child’s explanation without interrupting, judging, defending your point or correcting the facts. You can listen without agreeing but keep an open mind, you may learn something you hadn’t considered.
Resolving the Issue– Remember, the ultimate goal is to prevent the behavior from happening again & again. Start by reviewing the rule and why the child’s behavior is unacceptable.
- If there is a pre established & understood consequence attached to the misbehavior, enforce it.
- If it’s a new issue, you can ask” What do you suggest we do about this?”
- Clearly state your expectations for the future.
- Forgive & move on .