Sarah Jensen, founder and educator of KIPP Memphis Preparatory Elementary School, shares her insight on how to effectively and supportively communicate with younger children in today’s episode of the Parent Cue Live podcast.

YOUR CUE

  • Remember your kids are learning in every moment. You’ve had your chance to learn and form your own opinions, now it’s their turn. Your kid has only been on this planet for a few months, so they’re processing absolutely every experience. Give them the space to explore.
  • Take a step back and put yourself in their world. You might think you have the answer to the current problem, but your answer is likely one of many alternatives. Get on your kid’s level and try to see the experience from their view. In this way, you honor their feelings and they feel heard and supported.
  • Experience everything with your child. Instead of focusing on doing things for your child, try doing things with him or her instead. Be curious about them and play with them. Try to meet them where they are as much as possible.

EPISODE RECAP

Trying to communicate with your toddler or preschool-aged child often feels like running full speed into a brick wall, backing up, and doing it all over again. You want so desperately for them to understand the feelings they’re experiencing aren’t that big of a deal, but in the end, your kid’s even more frustrated and you find yourself looking at the clock wishing it was bedtime already.

What if we told you there was a way to not only communicate with your young child but also eliminate some of the frustration that comes along with getting through to them? You only need a few tools in your parenting arsenal to tackle this mission and the main one? Changing your perspective.

Managing your expectations

The way Sarah Jensen, founder and educator of KIPP Memphis Preparatory Elementary School, talks to and understands kids is nothing short of magical. She says the key to not losing your mind while trying to better communicate with your kid is to remind yourself they’re learning in every moment. It’s easy for parents to forget our children have only been on the planet for a few months, so they’re bound to react in a way we deem unnecessary. Instead, we should change our expectations of them.

And what about those times when our kid flings themselves to the floor in a fit of rage in the middle of Target and your reaction to their tantrum is more #parentingfail than #parentgoals? Sarah says we should look at these reactions from our kids as a good sign — they’re communicating with us (albeit loudly), which we should view as healthy and constructive.

Also in this episode, Sarah gives tips on how to communicate effectively while maintaining discipline, what common mistakes parents make when communicating with their kids, and how to build your child’s vocabulary so you can understand each other better. Tune in!

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

KIPP Memphis Preparatory Elementary

QUOTES IN THIS EPISODE

“The way you speak to them is the way they’ll learn to talk to themselves, the way they’ll learn to talk to their future partner, the way they’ll talk to their best friend, and it’s the way they’ll make a friend.” —Sarah Jensen

VOICES IN THIS EPISODE

Sarah Jensen

SARAH JENSEN

Sarah is an educator and the founder of KIPP Memphis Preparatory School in Memphis, TN.

Kristen Ivy - Parent Cue Live Host

KRISTEN IVY

Kristen is the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange, Director of The Phase Project, and co-author of Playing For Keeps and It’s Just a Phase – So Don’t Miss It. She combines her degree in secondary education with a Master of Divinity and lives with her husband, Matt, and their three children, Sawyer,  Hensley, and Raleigh, in Cumming, GA.

Carlos Whittaker, Parent Cue Live Host

CARLOS WHITTAKER

Carlos is an author, speaker, and content creator living in Nashville, TN with his wife Heather and 3 kids Sohaila, Seanna, and Losiah. He is addicted to social media, his wife’s enchiladas, and is determined to have his daughters teach him to land a backflip on the trampoline by the time he is 45.

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