This post is for moms and dads who feel like they repeat themselves 1000x/day.
How can we get children to listen IN OUR HOME?
Effective parenting tools are great…but help me apply them!
That’s why we developed SoSooper Parent + Child workshops like the one we held on Saturday: Stop Repeating Yourself – Listen with Curiosity Questions.
Sign up for this workshop. We’re doing it again in central Paris on October 7.
Parents Want Tools & Kids Want Play
The parents’ objective centered on getting the kids to listen. They wondered how it could be possible.
The children wanted to have fun, go on an outing, and be with mom and dad.
We aim to please both. The smiling faces tell us we did.
Parents & Children switch roles
“Kids, would you like to play Mom & Dad for a while?” Children’s eyes popped excitedly…and off we went to try on costumes.
Commands Lead to Rejection
The parents’ eyes and ears grew wide as they heard their children give them instructions. In a commanding voice, 6-year-old told his dad to “Put his coat on” and to “Stop playing on the computer.”
Father responded with “No, no, no” until he exclaimed, “Woah! Son. You’re bossing me around!”
Questions Generate Engagment
The children (acting as parents) then replaced the instructions with questions. Here was a fun exchange:
Parent (played by a child): “What is our agreement on Computer Time?”
Child (played by a parent speaking defiantly): “I can play when I want!”
Parent (played by a child): “What is OUR AGREEMENT on Computer Time?”
Child (played by a parent): Silence. “OK. 10 minutes.”
Everyone agreed that it felt better to be saying and hearing the questions.
But, parents enquired, how can we come up with the right questions when we need them?
Digging for Questions
For our next activity, parents and children gathered together in their own family units and explored for questions.
The kids knew by heart (!) the instructions repeated 1000 times. They rarely really understood why.
Here is a precious exchange between a father and child:
Child: “I know, I know. You always repeat that I need to brush my teeth. Why is it important to brush my teeth?”
Father: “So that you don’t have cavities.”
Child: “What is important about a vacaty?”
Father: “A cavity is when your tooth gets sick and it hurts a lot.”
Child: “Why is it important that my teeth don’t hurt?”
Father: “Because I love you. I don’t want you to hurt.”
Child: Smile. “Because you love me.” Grin.
Together they came up with a question that Dad could ask at teeth brushing time,
“What do you need to do so that your teeth won’t hurt?”
This is what SoSooper is about. Turning a challenging situation into a moment of connection between parent and child.
Join us next week. We’re doing this same workshop in the center of Paris. Click here to sign up.