Raising children can sometimes be a daunting task. I know when my own kids were young I often wasn’t sure how to respond when my son didn’t want to share his toys with other children or refused to say please or thank you to his grandmother. Wasn’t it right to tell them to share or say thank you?
Not according to Jennifer Lehr, parenting coach and author of the book, ParentSpeak: What’s Wrong with How We Talk to Our Children—And What We Should Say Instead. While Lehr recognizes that we all want our children to be generous and grateful, she points out how many of the canned phrases we use—what she calls “parent speak”—communicate the wrong message. Instead of guiding positive behavior, they ignore the child’s perspective and can make them feel powerless, confused, or resentful.
Reading her book made me think twice about the way I talk to my kids. I spoke with her recently about her book and the take-home messages within it for parents. To read more from JILL SUTTIE, click here.