Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Verbal judo

Verbal judo is a training program developed for police officers. What does this have to do with parenting? When I listened to Mike Manley, Verbal Judo instructor, speak to Ross Reynolds on National Public Radio, I realized the techniques he teaches are also good for parents.

On the radio program Manley emphasized the basics of using empathy and good listening skills when dealing with someone who is experiencing a problem. These are the same skills that work well when your children come to you with a problem!

He also discussed being in control of your own emotions so that you don’t add fuel to the fire. This is another skill I teach in my parenting classes.

Manley explained that they recommend officers ask somone to cooperate rather than commanding them. He gave some examples of commands and the unspoken message that goes along:

“Sit down!” Idiot is implied at the end of it.
“Stand over there.” Stupid is implied at the end of that command.
“Sir, could I ask you to stand over here.” Rather than saying “Hey, you, stand over there.”
To ask someone is much more courteous.

These Verbal Judo ideas are great for parents as well as officers!


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