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Make it visual

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How’s this for a cool idea?

A mum told me recently how her husband handled a sticky sibling situation with special aplomb!

It seems Miss 6 was arguing with, and generally being unpleasant to, Master 4 year old.

Rather than issuing a stern warning, or talk to his daughter about ‘being nice to your brother’ this smart dad sat his daughter down in front of their Wall Decal (special words and messages stuck on a wall) that he’d just put on the living room .

He pointed to the words “GIGGLE and be silly” and asked Miss 6 to read them out, which she did.

Dad reminded her that she hadn’t been acting like this with her brother.

Miss 6 went back to her brother and began playing properly (i.e nicely).

It was a remarkable change.

What happened?

Most homes are highly verbal places. We tend to do most of our managing and motivating of kids verbally.

But there are times that we need to go visual to communicate to kids.

This smart dad used visual prop to communicate with his daughter.

Here are some other examples of visual communication:

Help Rosters: It’s the roster rather than you that does the reminding.

* To do lists: Puts things in order for kids.

* Morning routine in pictures or photographs (Maximum of 5 activities): Helps kids to sequence activities.

 * Jobs list: Want kids to help in a busy patch? Then write all the jobs that need doing on a board and ask kids to do them if they can, and tick them off when they are done.

* A wink is as good as a nod: Teachers intuitively know how to praise kids with a smile or tick them off with a look. You can save your voice yet manage and motivate your kids in the same way.

There are lots of ways of communicating visually with your kids. You just need to develop the visual communication mindset and be open to opportunities to communicate in this way.

I’ll also be writing more about it in future Happy Kids. For now, my challenge for you is to develop a mindset for communicating visually with your kids. Start looking for ways to communicate with pictures, lists, your face, your hands.....anything that’s respectful to kids and saves your voice.

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