Use Your Words

My Christmas rang with unforced rhythms of grace in the form of a simple strategy offered to my little grandson.  It happened after a busy day of  trains – when a one-and-a-half-year-old took his tired voice to the table and his parents responded.

Use Your Words

Usually very well behaved, the baby cried for his dinner to hurry up. It’s what happened after – that left me proud of my children, and taking mental notes about the power of well-suggested strategies.  A seemingly simple  tool  triggered progress and  maintained dignity as the baby clearly  enjoyed his improved tone. 

A calm, caring tone modeled by his parents assured the baby that he’d get dinner faster by simply using his words.

From a toddler’s limited lexicon, Hendrik plucked out a choice word, that and was promptly passed his dinner.

I saw in my kids’ gift to my grandson, the power of offering simple tools that help others win more than lose.

Armed with a new approach to express his frustration in good tone, while holding onto evident love from family, the baby thoroughly enjoyed his meal. Within minutes my grandson told his charming stories,  giggled with the rest of us and shared his Nana’s silly straw. It made my day!

He transformed dinner into a fun place to linger with family, because his parents offered him a plan he could run with. All because of one thoughtful strategy – both baby and parents won.  So did the magic of Christmas.

See any similarities to coach others  or support civil discourse that offers strategies for more wins on different sides of issues?

In that simple challenge to use your words I spotted benefits for moments when frustration sets in.

  • Speak kindly rather than push people into a corner metaphorically – when cortisol flows into their brain.  Calm shows serotonin care with strategies that stoke well being.
  • Model tone to a frustrated person rather than adopt poor tone in response. Friend and colleague Bob Moesta suggests looking at all issues through the eyes of the other person. Yes!
  • Suggest strategies that fit and improve a person’s talents and situation.   That strategy might be kindled and designed in a mutual mentoring manner.

What tool might you offer to help a person get past communication that works against brainpower? How could you help others by modeling civil discourse, even in a place of personal frustration?

What strategies could begin to restore stronger discussions – with civil discourse – where you work?

3 Comments

  1. Excellent post, Ellen.

    By using good emotional management skills (not freaking out), the parents were able to stay calm themselves and in so-doing helped to calm the child.

    I’m reminded of my recent trip to ER and how the paramedics and the staff at Surrey Memorial Hospital remained calm, which allowed them to do their jobs efficiently. I can’t speak for them, but I hope that amidst the spasms of pain, my efforts at balancing my nervous system and remaining as calm as possible helped them.

    How we act/react does impact others. It is empowering to know that good emotional management is a skill, which means that we can practise it.

  2. eweber says:

    Wow – Mariana – you said it so much better than me. Thanks! I am amazed at the wisdom I see in this little family – and its dividends go full circle. Isn’t it cool how much we can learn from our kids.

    Parenthood for me was the keenest role even given – and yet I am still learning how it’s done!

    From the brain’s perspective our actions and reactions cause growth or its lack in others around us for so many reason that science now reveals.

    BTW – Who would have thought that grandparenting could be so much fun without the killer work and mistake-making of parenting. Thanks for stopping by – and stay blessed!

  3. Daly says:

    Sometimes, I have angry parents coming to school and acting very impolitely and disrespectfully toward the teachers.

    What I do is – I remember the “main sentence” they usually have directed, I cut it down to expressions and argument against every one of them easily.

    For example – “Your staff is disrespectful and careless toward my son”
    I’d ask them to explain if EVERY member of my staff has been like that. Is that even the majority of the staff.

    Then what do they mean by disrespectful, and are they sure that this isn’t a bit misinterpreted.

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