We hope your day is off to a good start! Hopefully we were all able to take some time to reflect on our listening skills from yesterday and we can all remain mindful of making time to provide that undivided attention each day. Today, we will expand on our communication with one another by focusing on our target skill of asking politely. It is common for all of us to treat co-workers, neighbors, or strangers is a polite manner. We may be more focused on using our polite and thoughtful skills with these people, while in the comfort of our homes and with familiar people, we may be less likely to use a smile, friendly tone, or manners. We make requests of one another all day along (we have requests for our children and they have request for us). Try using these steps:
Suggestions for using this skill:
● Make a plan as a family to place an effort on using manners and asking politely.
● Notice when your child is using language such as I need ____ or get me the ____.Kindly remind your child of steps to ask politely and encourage them to rephrase their language. Ask, how could you ask for that differently?
● Use this time at home to balance helping while also encouraging independence when possible. Maybe the typical school routine includes preparing cereal or toast for your child each morning; however, this may be a task that can be done independently. Now that we don’t have time constraints with getting to a bus on time, encourage your child to complete age-appropriate tasks with supervision. In school, your child is used to finding their own materials when needed during the day. They may be expecting more from you than what they would from their teacher ☺.
● Practice skills for waiting as your child may not be able to have their request met immediately. This may be a time to use color counting, positive thoughts, taking breaks, etc. When not being able to immediately help your child, provide a timeframe when possible (I have to make one more call for work but can help in 10 minutes).
● When your child is completing school work, practice academic strategies that can be used if they are unable to get help from an adult immediately (ex., circle difficult questions to go back to later, star a question to indicate that a best guess was taken, move on to a different subject or activity that can be done independently until help can be given).
● Notice and show appreciation when your child asks politely and share the impact that it has on others. At the same time, notice and compliment your child for trying tasks independently without asking for help.
● When asking your child to complete tasks or to help with something be aware of the tone and words we use to make these requests. Even as adults, we prefer our bosses to ask us politely to complete tasks and show appreciate for our efforts. It does make a difference in our attitude, motivation, and effort.
As human beings whether we are adults or kids, we get in the habit of continuing with our current behaviors and ways of communicating with others. Take time today to reflect on the manners you use with one another. The more we consistently use and reinforce manners with our children, the more likely that these phrases become habits.
After time, your child won’t even need to put effort into this way of communicating as it will just be natural. This will help with relationships at home, friendships, interaction with teammates, etc. We now understand more than ever the value of social relationships. Use this time to work on these skills to increase the likelihood of your child further developing and maintaining positive interactions and relationships with others.
We hope you all have a great day!
Marissa Lloyd, LPCMH