I’ve been living with Tovar, my favorite five-year-old, for a little over a year now. I’ve always liked kids a lot, so when I moved in I knew my plan was to interact with him a bunch, and I wanted it to go as well as possible. I didn’t have much experience handling situations where kids didn’t want to do what I wanted them to, and I wanted to be better at connecting with them overall, so I read the book on this subject that my friends recommended the most highly: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. I loved it, and as with NVC, the hardest time to remember all the advice was during an actual conflict with Tovar. The book came with helpful cheat sheets with the most important strategies for different categories of communication.
The cards really helped even more than I thought they would. Sometimes the strategies improved the situation a lot right away, and sometimes they didn’t, but having a mental list of things to try helped me feel a lot more in control, and THAT always helped quite a bit. The real secret about this book is that it’s definitely not just for communicating with kids. I use this stuff all the time on adults and kids both. And to be clear, I love it when people use the techniques on me! In particular, when I’m upset an easy and fun one to use is #3 from helping children deal with their feelings, give the child his wishes in fantasy (e.g. “I wish I could make that banana ripe for you right now!”). It cracks me up that this works as well as it does.
Here’s the deck: