Passover is right around the corner and in Jewish homes across the world things are very busy. There is a lot of preparation, of the cleaning and the cooking variety that needs to be done. That means that Jewish parents around the world need lots of help. They turn to their kids and that is often where the trouble begins.
I hear a lot of the following from parents:
“My child does not listen to me”
“My kids are so lazy, so irresponsible!”
“They are so thoughtless, they don’t even care how hard I am working.”
So, what can we do to help our children to really listen this holiday season?
We need to remember that children do not respond well to direct commands, “Take out the garbage now!” or criticism, “You are so lazy and irresponsible!”, sarcasm, “Your room is just stunning for a slob!” or accusations, “Why can’t you just listen and do what I ask you to do?”
Kids want to be respected. Deep down they want to help out. However, they too have their pride and have a need to maintain their dignity. We need to approach them kindly:
Here are 2 of my favorite techniques from the book, “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen”, that really work:
Give choices and Give information:
Instead of: “You need to peel the vegetables now!”
Give information: “The carrots and potatoes are on the counter. The peeler is there too. ”
Give choices: “You can peel the vegetables over the sink or spread newspaper out on the table.”
Instead of: “You better clean your room now!”
Give information: “Guests are arriving at 1pm tomorrow. Your sheets need to be in the laundry room by 9am tomorrow morning.”
Give choices: “Do you want to clean your room now or tomorrow morning when you strip the sheets?”
Instead of: “How many times do I need to tell you to set the table!”:
Give information: “Dinner gets on the table faster when everyone
pitches in to set the table”
Give choices: “What would be better for you- are you available to
help me set the table or clean up from dinner?”
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.