Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Do you want your kids (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, dog, cat) to listen to you?

After the storm clouds parted yesterday, I started to get a clear vision of what my "retirement mission" might be.  I might write a book for parents, go around attaching myself to those get ready to have a baby classes, and talk to parents about talking to their kids!  Clearly, knowing how to get the kid out of its first "environment" is not the same as knowing how to raise kids effectively! Let me try to explain:

The angry storm cloud overhead, the rumbling thunder and lightning that almost touched the ground kept a bunch of us under a canopy yesterday.  I was quickly lost in a the exchange between a very pregnant mom, busily texting on her cell phone, and her two young boys, clearly ready for a change in venue! "You need to be good," she implored as they wriggled between people, almost knocking over several older people.  "If you are good, I will get you ice cream," she added without even looking up, as they started a hand slapping game that left me with a nice mark on my leg. "Boys, be good," she sighed as if saying it would make it so. "Be good," she implored again as one boy knocked into a nearby stroller.  "You know how to be good," she added, patting her belly, as if to assure the crowd that was growing a bit annoyed.

Meanwhile, Peter Johnston's words were ringing loudly in my head.  I so wanted to tell this mom that the boys really did not know what she expected!  I did not even know what she expected!  I do not know all the many possible connotations and subtle meanings of the phrase "being good" as it changes in every setting and environment! 

I wanted to do a (mini) workshop right there on the portico of the Mt. Kisco Medical Group and share how Johnston's words had impacted my own way of talking to kids! I wanted to tell her that I needed this book long ago when my own children were challenging! (Trust  me, they were!)  I wanted to whip out a copy of Johnston's book and start preaching about "ditching" empty phrases like “Be good” and replacing them with phrases such as, "What can you do to make this time pass quickly?"  or “How can you have some quiet fun as we wait for this storm to pass?”

Then, in this morning's PD Twitter feed, I read this article, by Grant Wiggins who declares that helpful feedback is: Goal-referenced, Transparent, Actionable, User-friendly, Timely, Ongoing, and Consistent.  Yes indeed, Grant, I will quote you in my workshops! 

I couldn't help but think of a site I had bookmarked long ago.....

So, I present to you (as a preview to the parenting workshops that I will some day produce as a public service) sites to visit to change the way to talk to anyone.  These resources will change the way you talk to kids, spouses, friends parents, store clerks and yes, I suspect, even to dogs!

1 comment:

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

I can't wait to attend!!!