This Is the Number One Mistake Parents Make When Arguing With Kids


Time: How do you deal with out of control kids?

The authors of the bestseller How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk have some great ideas that can help any parent. It’s really powerful, impressive advice.

But here’s the odd thing: reading the book, I could have swore I had seen similar ideas before. And I had…

When I was interviewing and researching FBI hostage negotiators.

No, your 9-year-old Jimmy probably isn’t committing serious acts of violence (except maybe against his sister) and your teenager Debbie probably isn’t going barricade (except maybe in her room with the music on full blast) but many of the principles that are effective for dealing with terrorists, bank robbers and evildoers will also work with your children.

Seriously, these fundamental principles of communication can help you deal with anyone. So let’s see what parenting experts and hostage negotiators can teach us, and how it can make for a more peaceful, happier home.

Most importantly, parents often make a mistake at the beginning of their arguments with kids that no hostage negotiator would ever make. And when a conversation starts badly, it’s often downhill from there.

What’s this error?

Don’t Deny Their Feelings

The FBI has the bank surrounded. But the robbers have taken hostages. It’s a tense standoff and the bad guys are demanding food be sent in. They say they’re hungry.

The hostage negotiator lifts the phone and says, “Oh, stop it. You just ate. Quit complaining and just cut it out!”

Um, no. An FBI negotiator would never do that. But parents do it with their kids all the time. And the result is often more screaming, more tears, and more hysteria. What’s the problem here?

Denying their feelings.

Now as a parent you can’t be overly permissive and give a kid everything they want. But a hostage negotiator wouldn’t do that either — maybe the bad guys get the food when they ask for it and maybe they don’t. But negotiators wouldn’t say, “You’re not hungry. Cut it out!”


1 reply

  1. This Is the Number One Mistake Parents Make When Arguing With Kids

    This article “This Is the Number One Mistake Parents Make When Arguing With Kids” is very alluring and very absurd to read. This article is not just for parents or children to read but it is for everyone to read. This article points out great advice for parents from the book “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.” This book is about internationally renowned experts on communication between parents and children. They are many effective tips and great advice given in this book but one of the advice that was pointed out was “Don’t Deny Their Feelings.” Communication is a very important key between a parent and their children and can make a huge difference. Don’t ever deny feelings because when you do it often leads to screaming, more tears and a lot of panic. Parents can usually be overly open-minded and literally give their kid everything they want. We need to be there and try our best to understand their feelings. You might need practice at doing this and you might need to take baby steps each day and that is okay, at least your trying and that is all that matters in the end. To fully exceed at doing this you need to start off by listening with your full attention. When you don’t understand and deny your child’s feelings you often expand the situation. When you start listening to your children it will not only make your children feel better but it will also make you feel better. Always listen without judgment and use good manners which includes careful listening. Also, don’t ever respond to quickly and always make sure you don’t say anything that can hurt them. Another tip that will make you exceed and make you a professional at doing this is by acknowledging the feelings asking questions. Asking questions is a great way to learn about the viewpoint of the other person. Being open to whatever that person might have to say is a considerable sign of warmhearted communication. Just by reading this article we can make a great difference and create a peaceful and delightful home to live in.

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