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The biggest mistake parents make when arguing with kids is they deny their feelings.

Stashed in: Negotiation, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, The Feels!, The Feels, Parents, Parenting

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Here's what parenting specialists and FBI hostage negotiators say can help you deal with out of control kids:

  • Listen with full attention: Everyone needs to feel understood. The big mistake is thinking kids are any different.
  • Acknowledge their feelings: Paraphrase what they said. Don't say you understand, show them you do.
  • Give their feelings a name: "Sounds like you feel this is unfair." It calms the brain.
  • Ask questions: You want to resolve their underlying emotional needs, not get into a logical debate.

Certainly there are going to be situations where you don't always have the time (or the patience) to go through all the steps. It's not easy. But by listening and focusing on feelings you can make a big difference.

And these principles can work with everyone in your life. Most human needs and feelings are universal.

In fact, clinical psychologist Bernstein recommends talking to every angry person like they're a child:

People say to me all the time, "You mean I have to treat a grown-up like a three-year-old?" I say, "Yes, absolutely."

Feelings are messy and so we avoid them. But when it comes to the ones we love we often forget that, in the end, feelings are really all that matter.

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