Want to Get Your Children to Do Anything You Ask? Read This.
When I was a kid, my mom would leave a list of chores for my sister and me to finish before she got home from work. We reluctantly did them, and knew there would be consequences if we didn't. My mom and dad had four kids and none of us were angels. I completely understand why my mom had to lay down the rules in a not-so-pleasant tone at times.
A hypnotherapist and neuro-linguistic programming expert named Alicia Eaton thinks she has come up with the tricks to make your children do anything you ask. If you're having trouble making your kids listen - this might be worth a try. She's recently published a book Words That Work - How to Get Kids to Do Almost Anything.
Eaton says that by changing the words we use can create changes in behavior and she explains how to create the illusion of choice and create leading questions. She says parents can influence their children without shouting, bribing and threatening.
Here are the top ten rules for getting children to listen the first time and without a fuss:
1. Always say what you want your child to DO, and not what you DON'T - Basically, don't speak negatively. Try phrases like "Let's leave the room tidy and put away all the Legos" instead of "Don't leave your room a mess."
2. Create the illusion of choice - Instead of saying "Hurry up and get dressed for school," pose questions like "Which color shirt will you be wearing this morning, the red or blue?"
3. Talk as if it's a given that your child will do what you ask - Use the word "when." "When you've finished your homework, you can play." Car sales people use that word to push along the process. "When we come back from the test drive, you can choose the color for the interior."
4. Create a linguistic connection between you and your child - Put yourself in your child's place and vice versa with phrases such as "I, like you, realize you have lots of choices in front of you." The "like" pattern can boost your child's self-esteem.
5. Say 'thank you' before, rather than after - Once a child has been thanked, they'll feel obligated to perform the task.
6. Always give your reasoning - By explaining why you're asking for something, the request is more likely to be granted, and add the word "because" to every request. "Let's turn the the volume down and start being a bit quieter because we need to decide what we're going to do next and it will be easier to think of good ideas."
7. Front-load your sentences - Use phrases like "think about it" and "listen." "Think about it, how good will it feel once you've finished your homework" or "Listen, here's what I think needs to be done next."
8. Put a positive spin on moaning - If your child complains that they're too hot, say something positive like, "What would make you feel better - opening a window or taking off your coat?"
9. Use leading questions - Some examples from Eaton include "So, you're talking to me about this now - in order to start making changes?"
10. Help your child stop using the 'can't' word - Using the word "can't" shuts out the possibility of achievement. Switch the focus to talk about what your child can do rather than what they can't. When your child says, "I can't do math." You should turn it around and say "You just haven't yet found a way to do that particular exercise yet."
Read more about Eaton's technique here.
To buy Eaton's book or learn more about her, click here.