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When Your Message Gets Lost…. Changing the Communication Game

As the new term looms, many of us are beginning to turn our attention back to what that will bring. 
For many adults and kids alike, being back in school will bring uncertainty, and it will be very normal to see children exhibiting defensiveness, anger and worry more easily.
These feelings can make it VERY easy for kids to misinterpret our meaning and miss our message… 

A simple questions like “Have you washed your hands?” may be perceived as an accusation…
“Let’s get on with it” may be taken as a sign of your impatience.

Especially for those kids who are prone to anxiety, frustration, paranoia, anger, tears etc., it can be a game-changer to diffuse the directness in our questions & expectations. How we express these to our children is key, and there are some super-simple ways to tweak the way we speak to communicate our message more effectively. 

Here are 5 of my faves; I learned about these some therapeutic training but they work brilliantly across any setting. (Just adapt them as you need, they’re all very flexible…)

1) Instead of “Are you worried about something?”
TRY; I’m guessing you have some thoughts that nobody else knows about?”

2) Instead of “Do you need help with that?”
TRY; I’m thinking it might be easier with some help?

3) Instead of “Why won’t you do anything I ask you to?”
TRY; “I wonder why you don’t feel like listening today?”

4) Instead of “Have you washed your hands?”
TRY; I’m hoping that your hands are clean now?

5) Instead of “Why is this so difficult when you know how to do this?”
TRY; “I’m trying to understand why you’re struggling today.”

The key is to lead with curiosity.  Always express openness & interest.
Share your observations & your intention to understand.

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