… ok, odd title, even more odd description. Ready to go down the rabbit hole?
Here we go.
So, the other day at the park, the last nice day of the year before winter hit I decided to take my son to swing and go on the slide. A bunch of other parents with their kids were there and that’s awesome. Love that.
The part where I really wanted to jump in was a girl with her mother. To my left the girl really want to go off the slide sideways and jump off. Mom wasn’t too keen on this idea. And then to my right another mom was with her daughter (Yes, I was the only dad there) and using a bouncy car thing that sways back and forth. Both mothers virtually said the exact same thing;
“Don’t do XYZ because it’s dangerous!”
Come on parents! (moms and dads here) Kids don’t know what “dangerous” means. They really don’t. When they hear ‘dangerous’, they hear, “Oh, it must be fun!”
Next time, I want you to tell your kids what will happen if they don’t XYZ. Here’s a script:
” (1)[insert son/daughter name], if you XYZ (2), you will fall off (3) and that might hurt (4)!”
Ok, here’s the break down:
#1.) Say their name!! Kids love it when parents talk to them directly and openly.
#2.) Be specific and positive, say the positive version of what they are doing rather than the “don’t do XYZ”, it’s negative. How many times has your kid run around the house mocking you, “don’t jump on the bed, DON’T DON’T DON’T!!!”
#3.) Be specific of the consequences of their behavior, “dangerous” is ambiguous and doesn’t make sense to a kid.
#4.) Be specific about the effect of their behavior, this will teach kids cause and effect.
Good luck! You never know who’s paying attention at the park!! *kidding*
I’m rooting for you!