There are certain skills I teach my children for successful communication in my home. Two of the main skills are Following Instructions and Accepting No Answers. These are two of the basic skills for showing respect to parents and for learning how to respect any authority, even God. People who can’t do these basic skills are very noticeable in society.
However, learning these skills takes lots of practice and really goes against our selfish tendency to disconnect and disrespect when we are not in control. What most people don’t understand is that knowing how to follow an instruction or accept a no answer gives you all the control. When you, or your children, are pleasant and show respect then respect and trust are returned. This increases freedoms and relationship security. When a relationship is secure there is more love.
My husband and I spend a lot of time teaching our children how to say OK, or ask to disagree appropriately to instructions and no answers. Throughout these many years of learning good communication skills and focusing on the feeling of the Spirit in our home we participate in the learning as often as we can. We like success so we prep our children to succeed whenever possible.
Even after we teach our children how to follow an instruction or how to accept a NO answer, our children will sometimes forget that they can choose to say, “OK”.
The other day I told my son that he needed to clean his room. I could tell that he didn’t want to do the task. His face started to pout. The second I saw this, I said, “Porter, say OK.” He looked right at me and said, “OK!” Then I praised him.
It is alright to tell them exactly what to say. This helps them problem solve the very situation they are in. The child then gets the opportunity to see how easy it is to make the right choice and feel that they conquered a situation they almost had a problem with. During the emotional moment they may not be able to see the right way to handle the situation without a little prepping. Prepping helps skill mastery.
This consideration from the parent also shows the child that the parent wants to help them choose right. Sometimes parents come across, to their children, as sneaky people who are just waiting for their children to mess up, so that they can get mad at their children again. Helping the child know what to say is considerate teaching. Sometimes I even tell my children the exact words to tell me for a disagreement. I tell them what disagreement would make a difference to me. This teaches them how to reason and disagree intelligently. They need all these skills for success in life.
If the children aren’t saying what they should, try telling them what to say right in the middle of the situation. It works great!
For more great parenting tips check out Nicholeen’s parenting blog http://teachingselfgovernment.com