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Jul 312011

How to get a child to tell you why they were naughty

Children are inevitably naughty at times. My daughter is no exception

Trying to ask her about why she was naughty and does she understand why she’s being told off can be somewhat of a frustrating exercise because she will normally close down, not meeting my eyes and not talking at all.

A friend of mine gave me a great way of helping us get through that self wall:

Make the naughty thing separate from the child and from the present.

Instead of telling her that she’s a naughty girl, tell her that it was a bad thing that happened.

She knows she’s been naughty, so telling her off is pointless. By separating her from the event and by making it in the past “That was… …that happened”, it de-focusses the telling off and allows her to see that I’m not exploding at her or shouting (or worse), but that I want to have an adult conversation about the event.

This then allows her to come out of her protective cocoon (eyes down, being silent and hugging herself) and we can talk about it.

I should also point out that this technique works with all ages and can be a great way of breaking through teenage moods and tantrums.


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