Here are some phrases that nonviolent communication doesn’t like too much: “You typed again at school!” ; “How many times will I have to tell you to close your mouth when you eat”; “How can you be so awkward?” “; “We can’t trust you, you never keep your promises”; “You will have to make an effort to finally tidy up your room in the evening”.
Does Putting Down and Criticizing Our Child Help Him to Improve?
When judgments discourage …
To answer this question, let’s empathize. Imagine receiving a text from your boss like “YOU STILL made mistakes!” This is not correct, there are TOO many things wrong! “Or an email like:” But can’t YOU be careful? How many times have I told you…?! “; “YOU STILL monopolized the floor in meetings! “. How do we feel when we are humiliated in this way? We get upset. We get discouraged. Even more so when those sharp remarks come from someone close to us and in whom we trust.
And if this kind of remark is repeated daily, it is very likely that we start to lose self-confidence, to say that we are worth nothing, that we are not made for this job. So he is harder to find the strength, or even the path, to improve. The fear of doing wrong can even lead us to make more mistakes.
It’s the same for our child, criticism discourages him more than they motivate him, and too much criticism can make him lose confidence in him, which results in negative behavior.
Do we want to confide when we are belittled?
Finally, when someone is used to judging you, you usually aren’t going to tell them about your problems. In the same way, by dint of criticism and hurtful little phrases, we damage the relationship of trust with our child. He will then confide less in his parent, who will then have all the more difficulty understanding him. There is then a risk of entering a vicious circle.
In short, as parents, let’s try to avoid criticism as much as possible.
Threats should also be avoided, we made a video on this subject: “Goodbye threats, hello positive communication!” “
Before giving you 6 keys to better convey our messages to our children, know that I have prepared a special “positive education” pack. I gathered my thoughts there, but also my tips and practical advice to bring joy to our daily lives. To receive (for free) my keys which allow more cooperation (while shouting as little as possible 😉), do not hesitate to leave us your email.
So, how can we better communicate to educate our children with kindness?
It is not necessarily the substance that is the problem, it is the way of saying things. It is obviously not a question of letting everything pass. But it is possible to replace our criticisms with other less humiliating expressions. Find all the steps in non-violent communication in our Instructions for parents.
1 / We can say things more lightly
For example, instead of saying: “You still left your towel on the floor”, we can say it in one word “The towel, Loulou”, to make him think of putting it back. It means the same thing without the demeaning or lesson-giving side. As long as you say it without a hint of reproach! Just one word removes the ‘order’ side of the sentence “Gaspard, you can take off your shoes, please.” “
2 / We can formulate the sentence differently
One of the essential points of non-violent communication : avoid telling our child that he sucks, but rather tell him that it is the result of what he has done that bothers us (see our article on the disadvantages of sticking labels to our children). We avoid hurtful words that use judgment like “again”, “too much”, “always”. We avoid attacking his personality by using the “‘TU’ accuser”, and instead we try to describe the scene or our feelings in relation to it.
On the job side, for us, that would give: “I’m a little afraid that the client has the impression that we have botched his proposal by seeing all the mistakes”.
And on the child side, for example, we can replace:
- “You are tiring, you don’t want to stop right? “, through “Please can you go and shout in your room instead, it bothers me and I want to rest!” “.
- “You still made a mess everywhere!” “ through “It doesn’t make me happy to see the house so badly organized”.
- “Pff, you put your shoes inside out” through “Your shoes are inside out”
- “You left your towel on the floor again”, with “I think there is a towel on the floor …”.
3 / Use humor!
In non-violent communication, we speak in a tone of humor and not in a tone of mockery.
On the job side: “Oh, there are just about thirty mistakes, apart from that it’s nickel! “. Child side: “Ah, but you thought it was summer… That’s why you didn’t put on your coat!” “
Be careful that the humor does not turn into irony or make fun of the other. Everything is in the tone.
4 / wait and observe
If we have come to the point of being annoyed to keep repeating the same thing, instead of blaming him, we can also choose not to say anything if the problem concerns him directly. The child who has forgotten his snack will (maybe 😉) realize it at 4 p.m. He put his shoes inside out, too bad, maybe he will notice it by himself, or not so what?). (See the article: “Yes, it is possible to fight less against our children while educating them!”)
5 / Put things in a positive context
On the job side: “The document is perfect, well contextualized in relation to the challenges of the client. It’s just a shame that there are mistakes, because that spoils the quality of the document a bit ”.
On the child side, rather than “You’ve made a mess everywhere!” “, Prefer” I see that you played really well! I’m counting on you to tidy up as well as it used to be, okay? “. Replace for example “Look you put it everywhere!” “By” It’s very nice to have drawn me a drawing, it makes me very happy. However, it bothers me that there are stains on the tablecloth. “
6 / Focus on the solution
And as always in positive parenting, we focus on the action or the solution.
On the job side: “How could we make sure that there are fewer mistakes in your docs?” (You will notice that I avoided the ‘TU’). Child side: “What could we do to help you stop eating with your mouth open?” »(A sign, remind you at the start of the meal, put a mirror in front of you?). The fact of seeking a solution together will encourage the child more to accept the remark, and be motivated to improve.
When compassionate communication leads to cooperation
When you take a step back, it seems obvious: criticism is not the best way to help someone improve.
Not to mention that by criticizing, we teach our child to criticize. And there is a risk, once an adult, of reproducing the same pattern (see the article “Here is the best way to influence the behavior of our children”). What if, on the contrary, we teach our children, by our example, not to use the language of the one who sanctions, judges and corrects, but that of the good teammate, present to help the other to progress, to find solutions and to encourage him!