Going to the Bathroom: A Communication Tool!
Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT
Have you ever had an argument with your child where you were screaming like a banshee by the end of the argument?
If you haven’t yet, your child must not yet be old enough to speak! Well, we all know that screaming, yelling, repeating what you’re saying over and over, nagging, etc. does NOT work. It will not make things improve… yet it sure can erode a relationship. There is also the danger during heated conversations of saying things that you don’t mean but that can have a life-long impact on a child.
So when things begin to get heated, don’t let them escalate. Take a break such as going to the bathroom. Do some deep breathing. Reflect on what you want/need to say. Make it as short as you can. When we talk too long, kids tune us out. Get some water or orange juice (perhaps for you both) and return with the goal of managing the conversation without raising your voice. Also, remember that you don’t have to explain to your child why you parent the way you do.
You will have a much stronger impact on your child if you are talking to them in a serious tone yet volume stays the same. You look (and are) in control—and they will sense that.
Copyright © 2012, Sharon Scott, No reproduction without written permission from author.
P.S. Please read my other column “Authenticity.”
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.