Sunday, December 1, 2013

How to Talk to Parents: A Toddler's Guide to Communication

Ten Laws of Parent Communication:

1. What you have to say is infinitely more important than whatever is happening. Period.

2. The BEST time to express your deepest fears, hopes, desires and views on life, is when your mother is on the phone.

3. When you are asked to talk, e.g. for a family video, a program at church/pre-school, or to demonstrate your vocabulary for a doctor, you MUST remain silent for a period of time. Only respond to their requests once they have offered you sufficient rewards for your efforts. Remember your worth. Do not settle for a sticker when you can get ice cream.

4. The middle of the night provides the perfect opportunity for one-on-one communication with your parents. Please note that results may vary. If your mental faculties are not entirely present, simply crying or whining will usually get results. Remember, above all, you must be consistent in order to see the best results.

5. Find new and interesting ways to pronounce words. You may get exciting results. For example, if you want a strawberry, make you sure you alter the pronunciation enough to elicit guesses. At some point they may ask you if you want, say, a cookie. If you just came out and asked for a cookie, they would likely say, "no". But if they have to guess for long enough, they will be so excited to have (supposedly) discovered the answer, they will more often than not, give you the cookie. This is known as up-selling.

6. When words fail you, throw yourself on the ground, thrash and scream.

7. Change your mind rapidly and without warning and expect your parents to keep up. If they incorrectly assume that you still want what you said you wanted ten seconds prior, please implement the method discussed in number six.

8. It might seem difficult, at times, to get your point across. They are only adults after all. But you will have greater success when you utilize these tried and tested methods: volume and repetition. If you feel your point is not getting across, try repeating yourself while increasing volume until you elicit the desired response. For example, if you want your mother's attention and she is on the phone, you would start by saying, "mama" in your normal voice. She will probably ignore you. Try not to lose your patience. Remember, she is still learning. So use a little more volume and repeat, "mama". If she still does not respond, then you need to implement the aforementioned technique, ie. "MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! MAAAAAAMAAAAA!"

** This method does not have conclusive results with dads. They have a highly-developed ability to block out the sound of your voice. The louder you get, the less they hear. For best results with dads, turn off the television or simply hit them with a hard object. We recommend the remote control for added emphasis, though be warned, your point will likely be lost on them.

9. If they express frustration with your communication techniques, carefully project the lower lip and shed two to three small tears (do not over-do it). Make as little noise as possible. This will guarantee you snuggles and kisses.

10. If you are still struggling to communicate effectively with your parents, try writing your feelings down. We suggest a wall, an important document or high-quality bedding. Permanent markers are the preferred medium but work with what is accessible. Don't feel limited. Crayons, pens and makeup are all perfectly acceptable substitutes.