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Talking With Kids: Consider Your Child’s Opinion

See the situation through your child's eyes. You know how you feel when your boss or partner says, "That's ridiculous," or insists you really like something you know you hate? Kids feel the same way when parents say, "You don't really mean that," or "I can't believe you said that!"

Acknowledge your child's feelings. In response to your child's statement, you might simply say, "I'm glad to know that," or "I understand." At times, this acknowledgement is all your child needs to hear.

Try not to contradict your child's statement immediately, even if you think he's wrong. Hear him out before saying no. If your child says, "I don't want to go to school anymore," instead of saying "You have to go," you might ask, "What's the worst thing about it?"

Listen to your child's request without judging or correcting it. Good teachers give a child a chance to explain himself first, even if he's wrong. The same technique works at home.

For more information, visit PBS Parents.

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