Contributed by Casey ORoarty
Certified Positive Discipline Trainer
Did you know that the word “educate” is derived from the latin word “educare” which means “to draw out from within?” I find this really interesting from a parenting point of view. I think about all the time parents spend during the day trying to “stuff” information into their children. Do any of these statements sound familiar?
“Put on your coat so you’re not cold.”
“Do your homework.”
“Don’t fight with your brother.”
“If you don’t hurry up, you’ll miss the bus.”
You know how adults sound on those old Charlie Brown cartoons? Wah, wah, wah, wah, waaaaaahhhhh…” Yes, I am guilty as well. We just want to get our kids moving and we want them to just listen and do what we say. Then we feel irritated and challenged when it seems as though they are ignoring us or dragging their feet… Are they feeling respected? No. Are they feeling capable? No. Are they invited to cooperate? More like invited to a power struggle…
So what about this “draw forth from within” idea? Might we change the way our children respond to us by simply showing that we have faith in the fact that they already have all the answers? What would happen if we asked more questions like this:
“What do you need to take in case you get cold?”
“What is your plan for getting your homework done?”
“How can you and your brother solve that problem?”
“What do you need to do to be ready in time for the bus?”
I’ll tell you what happens – our kids stop to think. This is enough to distract them from resisting the expectation, and they get moving!!! Using curiosity questions like the ones above throughout the day will instill a sense of connection and meaning in your child. The invitation to cooperation is accepted and parents are feeling much less exhausted at the end of the day. It is a small tweak in how we interact with our kids, but you will see that it makes a big difference in how they respond to us!
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