Kids Who Don’t Say What’s on Their Minds

School-age kids who grumble, don’t follow-through, or just tune-out are in many ways like two-year-olds who whine rather than using words to make their needs and wants known. In the two-year-old case, the child has more needs and wants than he has words to make those needs and wants clearly known. With school-age kids, they have the words, but for many reasons they may be choosing not to use them.
Here are some ways to help your kids be direct and say what they want and need.
  1. Arrange for some quiet time just for the purpose of them sharing their desires and opinions. However, be sure to require that they are respectful when doing so.
  2. If your child obviously has something to say, but isn’t saying it, invite him to have a talk – just you and him. Let him decide when he is ready.
  3. Be sure your messages are direct. Say no directly, if you mean no. Don’t say yes or maybe if you really mean no. If you promise something be sure you follow through.
  4. Let your kids see you express your needs and wants directly. Tell them  what you expect of them and why. Explain why it benefits them and the family, as well as why it is important to you as the person responsible for keeping them safe.
  5. Avoiding saying what is on their minds, can be a signal that something is wrong with your children. They want or need something. Let them know that their needs and wants and opinions are important.
  6. When kids do say directly what they want and need, tell them you appreciate knowing what they are thinking.


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