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Home » Advice and Tips, fatherhood, preschooler

Understanding: One awesome way I turned my Pre-Schooler’s Frown Upside Down

Submitted by on Wednesday, 30 March 20112 Comments

Understanding. It starts with U… I just made that up, but it is true!

I was reminded of how far a little understanding goes when trying to get Smarty Pants (my preschooler son) to come in and get ready for bed after playing outside with his friends. Trying to pull my son away from playing with friends is like trying to pull Charlie Sheen out of a party at the Playboy mansion… he just doesn’t want the fun to end, and sometimes tears ensue.

Last night was such a night. My son was ogling his friend’s new iPod Touch (as I was reminiscing that I had a cassette recorder – not even a portable one – at that age), and bedtime was approaching.

I called my son in, and, although he came in quickly, he started letting out his frustrations as I handed him his toothbrush.

“I only got to watch one video!” he screamed.

“I wanted to watch three or four videos!” he wailed.

At first, I showed more frustration of my own than understanding.

“It’s late and its time for bed!” I screamed.

“You were playing out there for a long time!” I wailed.

It was going nowhere, and only made matters worse.

So, rememberng what I read in “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”, I switched gears, and started to show understanding for his frustrations.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: “You only got to watch one video, that is frustrating.”

Him: “Yeah, only one, that is only that much.” (showing me a single index finger)

Me: “Hmm, yeah, and you wanted to watch three or four.”

Him: “Yeah.”

Me: “I understand, you know, I am frustrated too, I didn’t get to watch ANY videos today. That’s zero videos!” (making a circle with my thumb and index finger)

Him: (laughing) “Maybe tomorrow I can play with him again.”

Me: “Yeah” (patting myself on the back)

It was magical. I couldn’t believe how quickly that little bit of understanding turned his cries to laughter and his frown to a smile.

I was so happy with this outcome I had to share it with you all, and hope that you will try the same next time you have a chance.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts below, or to share a similar story if you have one!

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  • George says:

    Congratulations! Tis an interesting approach, glad to see it worked for you! Will have to try it out myself. Guess they just want to be heard – not too different from many of us adults!

  • Head Jammer says:

    Indeed George, I agree! Thank you for you comment and for the congratulations!

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