The Best Alternative to Lecturing

The Best Alternative to Lecturing

by | May 20, 2021 | Parenting Adolescents, Trending, Tween Times

The Best Alternative to Lecturing

By JoAnn Schauf

Do you know that your child can predict within your first two sentences if you are launching into a lecture? They know you and recognize your inflection, tone of voice, and even your body language. Oh, and your moods, too.

We have important things to talk about, but we must begin with the end in mind. That means we have to deliver the material, news, ideas, or facts so that our child can listen openly, and we generate an open conversation.

If you were on the receiving end of lectures – your parents did all the talking, and you were required to do all the listening and then obey – you recall that groaning feeling. You wondered, at the time, what you could do to end or stop the correction, reprimand, or sermon. You hoped, as did I, for an interruption to escape. You already knew the words and content: you could have given the lecture yourself.

Should you be a lecturer, perhaps like your parents before you, your kids most likely experience the frustration you felt. It doesn’t have to be this way.

When we create an environment where our children feel safe expressing themselves, they can own and explore what happened. The interchange will be pleasant and a win-win. It’s your approach, your language that invites an interchange for your child to chat and problem-solve with you.

Conversation starters that invite dialogue are in bold:

I heard you’re thinking about not trying out for the team.
(PREVIOUS LECTURE MODE: I know you believe that coach doesn’t like you. It doesn’t matter! You are the most talented kid on the team, and you’re not going to waste your talent. He won’t be your coach forever. You need to tell him you are trying out, or I will.)

I’m curious about your room. I know you don’t want to lie to me.
(PREVIOUS LECTURE MODE: Here we go again. You told me your room was clean, and it’s not. This is not the first lie you’ve told me! What do you have to say for yourself?)

Please help me understand what happens to your bike when you get off it.
(PREVIOUS LECTURE MODE: I paid good money for that bike, and you are not showing respect for it, yourself, or me. The last two nights, I had to get out of my car and wheel it off the driveway so I wouldn’t drive over it! How many times have we talked about this?)

Moving the needle from “you must” to “I will” activates your child’s internal motivation to make wiser choices. Shifting from lecturing to openly chatting serves as a watershed moment in your parenting playbook. You can do this!


©JoAnn Schauf, MS, LLC Your Tween & You  2021 All rights reserved