What do you do when your kids ask you a question?
Do you just give them the answer without a discussion?
Often when kids ask us something, we process the information in our heads and just give them the final answer. We don’t always allow them the opportunity to learn HOW we got to that answer. And then we expect them to just accept the outcome without question.
What do you think will happen if you think out loud so your child can hear your thought process and reasoning to get to that specific conclusion or answer?
What if your child can hear all the different reasons, the how and why we eliminate them as options?
Child: ‘Mum, can I go to Rosie’s after school on Friday?’
You: ‘No, the weekend is too busy already.’
But what if you say the following: ‘Well, you have gymnastics on Saturday, we are going to Grandma’s on Sunday and we still need to sort out your Book Week Dress Up somewhere over the weekend, as we need it for Tuesday. Maybe this weekend is already too busy and then we will not enjoy things if we are overtired. But I can see you want to spend time with your friend. Let’s look at the calendar and schedule something in for next weekend. What do you think?’
Another example is when you think out loud through your appointments for the day: ‘We need to be at the doctor at 3:30pm, but the school bell goes at 3:00pm. I’ll have to make sure I’m 20 minutes early, so I can be near the front of the school pick-up queue to avoid the traffic. We’ll take XX Road, instead of the freeway, as it is always busy this time of the day. And then I also have to make sure I have the slow cooker going before school pick-up, otherwise we will not have dinner on time. Honey, please make sure you come straight to the car when the bell goes, no playing with your friends after school today.’
This way your child can get more information, learn to think and plan ahead, weigh up all the options and then make a better-informed decision. Often if they understand our reasoning, they are more willing to comply too.
Obviously, we don’t have to do this Every. Single. Time. as it is not practical and can be exhausting for some. But I think it is beneficial for kids to learn how to process information, eliminate certain options and come to a conclusion, especially as they get older and the process (and options) become more complex.
Often the Monkeys and Lions find this easier to do than the Meerkats and the Koalas. Why? Monkey and Lions are ‘external processors’, thus they often talk out loud (either to themselves or someone else) while they process information. So, we have to wait until they are done talking to know what their final answer is. However, Meerkats and Koalas are ‘internal processors’, thus, they work through the information in their minds and hearts and only when they are done, they will give you their answer. They use words much more sparingly than Monkeys and Lions.
We have to respect all temperaments for how they process information. There is no ‘wrong’ way of doing this. However, I think there is a definite benefit to (sometimes) show our kids our thinking processes, as that is a great and easy way to learn HOW to think.
So, how do you process information? Internal or external?
Do you want to know more about how you process information? Or more on temperaments? Or how I can help you discover the combination in your family and how that impacts on your family harmony and communication? Contact me via the contact form on the website, email, social media, a bush telegram, smoke signals, carrier pigeon or any other method you prefer.