2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
I see myself repeating like a robot formatted to my 4 year old to put down this damn broom that will break everything in the house. I imagine the drama and start to tense up.
I repeat, over and over again, and I lose my conviction, my tone and even my patience. I don't really believe in what I say anymore, I'm tired of harping, she doesn't listen to anything anyway.
Then she decides to spin the broom like a cheerleader's stick around her hands, I see the inevitable disaster coming. I have my hands full, my head elsewhere, I do too many things at the same time and above all I rush; it is always when we rush and are not focused that we lose our good habits and our practice.
And there… I'm screaming!! "But you're going to drop that broom, yes!!" »
Remorse seizes me, I frightened her; she was playing, concentrating on her task, enjoying the discovery of this new activity. She was even gifted, it must be admitted. My daughter had clearly neither heard nor integrated the instruction: she was simply absorbed in her occupation. My voice had become a monotonous background noise for a few minutes, like reassuring music that makes no sense to her, a message that was not to her.not even addressed, if I see his amazement.
Instructions are not enough, it is an art to express them, and here are the steps to make themselves heard and allow the child to integrate the concept:
- The instructions must be clear, short and adapted to the age of the child. We use simple words and we remain very basic in our explanations. We let time pass so as not to hammer the child, he must integrate everything.
- Favoring positive instructions will facilitate understanding; young, they are not able to dissociate the negation: "put down the broom" rather than "don't play with the broom".
- Physical contact is necessary: a hand on the shoulder for example, a caress on the cheek or the chin.
- Catching the eye to get the child's attention and speaking clearly, slowly will allow connections to be made again
- This is all you have to do. We stop all our occupations to focus only on the calm and positive energy of the moment.
- Getting up to speed: on your knees, to be on the same height, tone and words that will allow the child to feel confident and considered.
- Put yourself in the child's shoes will amplify empathy. The child experiments and it is often pleasant to try new things, so we try to remain understanding and neutral in our intervention.
- Limiting irritants and stimuli will increase the effectiveness of the initiative: we speak softly and we tryto reduce surrounding noise (TV, radio, cries of brothers and sisters).
Explaining the consequences is essential: “the broom could break objects that I hold dear and I fear for my vase. The broom is used to pick up dust. »
- Offering an alternative is the logical next step: “Hey, you could sweep the kitchen if you wanted to; I can even give you the shovel and the brush so that you can help me, or have fun”. Or: “If you want to do a circus act, you can go to your room to do it and we could make a cheerleader baton” (yes, I know, I was really in a hurry at first).
We are talking here about the integral and theoretical intervention. In everyday life, we can stop at diverting the action, which will already be quite adequate. We can also think of a DIY activity when we have a little time in front of us. Making a cheerleader stick isn't that hard after all.
Remember to thank the child for his collaboration and above all tell him how helpful and pleasant it is for us that he listens. Show him that we are a team that works together and that he is the main player in the process. We can add that he is gifted or inventive, creative, focused, original. We value the intention so that he does not take the prohibition, the limit as an invalidation of his creativity.
It's a lot of steps at first glance, I realize. We imagine the mountain to overcome andwe consider giving up before even trying. But it is nevertheless widely applicable with a little practice, and when we let logic do the talking. With indulgence and a few tries, there is a marked improvement in the relationship and the exchanges. Even if they are not all present, each one makes sense, because these actions are child-oriented. Improvement and results are very motivating.
Our children need attention, but it is often the quality of the intervention that will make a difference: effective and clear, chosen and sincere words, well-done gestures for maximum understanding. They want to learn and are often very willing to do so; let's give them the tools to succeed and thus avoid failures that affect their self-esteem.
Little sponges full of life running towards their autonomy.
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