Parenting has so many challenges. Simply helping our children with school, relationships and life can be frustrating. Often parents have had poor role models in how to speak to children. Good listening skills are irreplaceable and vital to good relationships with your kids. However listening is only a part of the process. Parents should be prepared with relevant ways to speak to children in a way that they can hear, understand and find a way to change their behavior or take on a new behavior.
We recognize that the attention span of a developing child’s brain is limited, and long lectures are ineffective. So what is a parent to do?
A very short and helpful article was just published on the Imperfect Parents website by Nicole Schwarz. It talks about a 10- Second Lecture. Here is quote from the article:
Your child comes home from school with a note from the teacher listing 6 missing assignments. This is the first you’ve heard of the missing homework, so your parenting brain probably decides: “This is a great time for a lecture!”
You sit your child down at the table and engage them in an hour-long talk including the following key points:
- “When I was your age…”
- “How are you expecting to get into college…”
- “Didn’t I raise you better than this…”
- “Your sister never had missing assignments…”
- “You’re going to get to work right now and finish all of these assignments tonight”
- “And, you’re grounded for 2 weeks!”
Unfortunately, all of your effort probably fell on deaf ears. More than likely, your child tuned you out after the first 30 seconds. What you meant to be helpful, productive and motivating turned out to be discouraging, shaming and damaging to the relationship.
Instead of following the “typical” lecture format, I encourage you to master the “10-second lecture.”
It’s actually not a lecture at all. It’s a respectful way of communicating with your child that encourages problem-solving, critical thinking, and relationship building.
I call it a “10-second” lecture because you should only be talking for about 10-seconds. The rest of the talking should come from your child.
She then talks about 4 simple steps to figure out how to approach your brief lecture or communication with your child. It is a great model to use when dealing with some of the many issues that you face each and every day with your child. Here is the link for the article which I hope you will enjoy and find helpful.