Showing posts from November, 2015

3 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Children

Young children live in a magical world where pretend feels real and it is hard to know where fantasy ends & truth begins.  Not yet executive functioning thinkers, they depend on adults to teach them logic, reality and truth.  Parents and teachers are their most trusted adults.  They believe what you say.  We know that young children have a less mature sense of humor.  When we attempt sarcasm, they do not laugh.  When movies for children include adult humor, we say, “It went over their heads.”  Why, then, do we expect them to understand when we are being facetious or sarcastic?  Or worse, perhaps our own fears cause us to say things in the guise of humor. 

When we attempt sarcasm, teasing or are testing beliefs about our own perceived weaknesses, we can damage children.  We can have an impact on their sense of self-worth.  Throughout my career, I have heard parents and teachers say things to children with no intent to damage but also without compassion and thought.  Children beli…

Will Your Children Forgive Your Mistakes?

Parents are not perfect.  We are human.  We make mistakes.  We get frustrated and yell when we shouldn’t.  We tease and hurt our children’s feelings.  We overreact, underreact, listen and then we don’t.  Even the best of parents who are thoughtful and intentional in their actions make mistakes.  We hope that our children will grow up, maybe have children of their own and realize we did the best we could.  We hope they will forgive us.  Perhaps, we can do more than hope.  We may be able to teach our children about forgiveness and about our own humanness. When we are wrong, we need to sincerely apologize to our children.  From the time they are very young, they need to see us admit when we are wrong, thereby acknowledging that we make mistakes.  We need to say, “I’m sorry I should not have yelled.  I was wrong” or “I was mad and I did the wrong thing with you.”  Our children need to see us owning our errors in judgment or attitude so they know that we know there is no such thing as perf…

3 Mistakes Adults Make When Speaking to Children

Children spend many years honing communication skills.  They watch and listen to everything we say and how we say it.   They imitate us in their dual quest to learn and to be more grown up.  Adults need to be intentionally interacting with children in ways that lift them up.  Be aware of your interactions and try to avoid these common mistakes:
Mistake # 1:  Using a sing-song or cartoony voice  Use your real, adult voice when speaking to children.  Children need to learn proper intonation, inflection and vocabulary in order to become good communicators.  They also need to learn the difference between television comedy and more serious pursuits.  I have spent a career watch adults set the wrong tone and then get upset at the children for following suit.  If you speak like you are starring in a comedy, they will not take what you are doing seriously.   If you lower your vocabulary level, how will they learn new words?  Just talk.  No special voice needed.
Mistake # 2:  Mispronouncing let…