"Lucia it's time to get in the shower" "Luciaaaa I said it's time to get a shower" "Luciiiiiaaaa baby it's almost 8 pm please get in the shower" "LUCIA! Are you deaf? I am telling you to get in the shower NOW!" "Ok you little girl, you have just lost your right to use the iPad all week! Now get in that shower NOOOOOOW!!!!"
Sounds familiar? Who ever has been in a similar situation please rise your hand!
Yes I know! Asking, screaming, and menacing children to follow their routines and responsibilities can be very exhausting and depleting for parents.
It used to be for me too, until a few months ago when I was talking to a friend about children and how they behave, and she told me about the way she used to handle her kids. After our converstaion I squeezed her advice into a simple formula that I now called the "One, Two, Three technique". Since that day my life has changed.
There is a better way of communicating to children, one in which they actually respond. First you need to understand children are different from grown ups, our overall brain chemistry and functioning is not the same. Children live and cohabit the present moment, they are not thinking about your busy schedule or the time passing by. They are fully immersed in the present moment, (something we need to learn from them).
While living the moment, children basically can't hear when you are shouting form the other side of the house that they "need to get ready for their swimming class!". They might hear some noise, but they don't actually hear an order being directed to them.
You can exhaust yourself (like you probably have) shouting from the distance to get your child moving. You can loose your voice and deplete your energy, it will not work.
The good news is, there is a solution! A wiser way of communicating to your children. A way that actually works each and every time: "The One, two, three technique" is here to save your life! Take note!
First, you should know that any order you give to children has to be completed with three basic things:
1- Eye contact.
2- A hand sign that will be used only three times.
3- A direct and clear (not angry) request.
Before starting to use this technique, I would recommend you tell your kids you will have a new rule/game in the house, called the "One, two, three" in which whoever get's to three looses. You can actually specify what happens if they loose or not.
Let me give you the Lucia example, now using the "One, two, three Technique: Lucia is in her room playing, immersed in the moment, singing to her dolls while organizing them in a straight line by colors and sizes. It's getting late and tomorrow she has to wake up early to school. Mom walks in looks at Lucia and says a few words: "Oh! That looks nice Lucia, I bet you are having fun, but it's almost 8pm and you need to get in the shower" Lucia actually listens (mom is in front of her, talking to her while making eye contact). She looks up to her mom: "But moooom, pease just wait five minutes! I just need to put this other dolls here and...." Mom firmly looks into Lucias eyes while putting one finger up: "Lucia, I said get in the shower now. ONE". Lucia looks up, puts the dolls down but doesn't move. Mom continues while pointing two fingers at her: "Lucia I said get into the shower now. TWO" ... "Lucia, get....
Lucia runs into the shower. Mom is happy and relaxed.
Understanding the psychology of children, helps us find better solutions. I want to encourage you to try this technique! It is so simple and so effective. The results are amazing!!!