The More Words We Use, the Less Effective We Become
The other day I caught myself giving a lengthy speech about the importance of kids doing their chores and respecting their parents. Unfortunately, the speech was not to a group of people at a Love and Logic event. It was to my seven-year-old son in response to his eye-rolling and huffing about having to clean up after the dog.
I used to be a parenting expert. That is…until I had kids.
Parenting is tough because we love our children. Since highly effective teachers also love their students, they struggle with the same temptations. We want the best for them. We worry that they’ll become irresponsible. We sometimes feel panicked because they don’t seem to be turning out the way we hoped. As educators we mourn when we aren’t reaching a child in the way we hoped.
Lots of intense feelings can muddy our minds and leave us forgetting that we can’t talk tykes…or teens…into being respectful, responsible and self-controlled. In fact, the more extensive our vocabularies become, the less effective we become.
The more words we use when things are going poorly, the less effective we become.
Many excellent and loving parents and educators are faltering. Not because they lack skills. No. It’s because they talk too much while they’re using their good skills.
Run an experiment: see what happens if you simply use fewer words when things are going poorly. The odds are high that you’ll be glad you did.
Find more solutions in Jim Fay's MP3 download, Raising the Odds for Responsible Behavior.
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Dr. Charles Fay