The Mars Venus Coaching Workshop: Children are From Heaven, tells us that children are a gift. But with school letting out for summer in just a matter of weeks, some parents might beg to differ. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the time you are responsible for filling with fun, structure, and learning opportunities for your kids? Even though summer is a fun time for the beach, pool, and family vacations—as parents we also have to make sure our stress levels stay low so we can keep our cool with our kids. In order to raise healthy and cooperative children and teens sometimes it’s helpful to revisit our parenting skills. The following ideas are adapted from Dr. John Gray’s book, Children Are from Heaven: Positive Parenting Skills for Raising Cooperative, Confident, and Compassionate Children.
If we want our children to be able to survive, thrive, and compete in today’s world, we need to prepare our children by using the most effective and modern approaches to parenting. Positive parenting may or may not be something your parents did when they were raising you. As a parent you do this by doing the following five skills in the left-hand column entitled, “do” on a daily basis. The more you are able to interact with your children using these skills, the more your kids will be thoughtful, respectful, conscientious people.
2. Listen and nurture
3. Offer rewards
4. Command or assert leadership
5. Give time-outs to maintain control when
2. Fix it
3. Punish or shame
4. Demand, yell, become emotional
5. Spank or hit emotions overwhelm
This article focuses on how you can improve communication and minimize resistance by concentrating on the first two skills: asking and nurturing so you can inspire your kids to cooperate. When summer begins, and the kids are at home—a whole host of chores crop up just due to extra traffic in your home. Accidents, spills, and breaks happen when little feet are under foot (even if they’re your teenage son’s size 10 feet!). Negotiation skills start during the toddler years, and they continue into adulthood.
For the first skill, asking, phrase your requests in a way that will minimize resistance. When you make requests use “will you” and “would you” rather than “can you” and “could you” (particularly with boys) (and men!) . Why? Well, when you use the phrase “Would you please clean up this mess?” you are making a direct request that requires a thought process of “hmm, will I or won’t I”. However, when you say “Can you clean up this mess?” you are actually, technically asking a question about someone’s competence to do the task.