Setting The Stage For A Talk With Your Child: Seven Simple Ideas

As parents, teachers, and caregivers, we are often confronted with teachable moments, times when it’s necessary to have a serious discussion with a child, often about uncomfortable topics such as a child’s misbehavior.

5iStock_000010621773SmallRebecca was in just such a position.  Her son Ronnie was having a bad day.  In the morning, he hadn’t wanted to eat anything she offered him, and finally ran out the door with a piece of toast in one hand, his unsigned spelling test in the other.

When he came home from school later that day, he threw his schoolbag on the floor, ran up to his room, and slammed the door—a big no-no in Rebecca’s house.

When he finally came out of his room for dinner an hour later, Ronnie appeared to have calmed down and was able to participate at the meal and behave appropriately.

Later on in the evening, after the dishwasher was loaded and snacks were prepared for the following day, Rebecca went upstairs to find Ronnie.  She knocked gently on his bedroom door and went in to have a talk with him about his rough day.

In situations like Rebecca’s, when it’s necessary to have a serious or firm talk with a child, it’s important to develop rapport from the outset.  Rapport is a sense of mutual respect and camaraderie that helps your child participate in your conversation without reverting to defensiveness or aggression.

ikea tentTo gain rapport, especially before speaking to a child about a difficult topic such as misbehavior, the right setting or activity is your ally:

  1. The two of you can sit on swings, side by side
  2. Hold your talk inside a tent
  3. Bounce up and down on two therapy balls
  4. Play catch
  5. Rest inside a tunnel together
  6. Throw and catch a weighted ball
  7. Wrap the child in a blanket and rest together or enjoy crawling around

Utilizing any of these simple strategies should help you get a good conversation off the ground.

Please share any methods that have worked for you in the comments section or by emailing me at Miriam at otthrive dot com.


The links above were provided in order to introduce you to the materials referenced.

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