When it comes to young children, we certainly don’t have to tell them everything, but it is surprising what keeping them in the loop will do for their behavior.

This technique is also best when started the earliest.  And I’m talking newborns.  It seems very strange to tell your newborn what you are doing, but they absorb more than we can imagine and it sets them up for understanding more as they grow. 

So what does this look like?

For us, my favorite memory of keeping my boys in the loop was one weekend when we were up in the mountains.  We decided to stay up there through dinner and then drive back right as the boys go down for bed.  This meant that they would fall asleep in the car, but then we would have to wake them once we got home to transfer them to their beds.  They were one and a half years old.  So we explained everything to them, all the steps, everything that would happen.

Once we got in the car, they fell asleep almost immediately.  They slept the whole way home.  We pulled up in front of our house and woke them up ever so sweetly.  Both boys started to laugh!  I couldn’t figure out why they were laughing until I realized that they were laughing at the fact they they knew this was going to happen and it did!  We carried them to their beds, kissed them and they fell asleep immediately again. 

So when you are keeping your children in the loop, you tell them what is going to happen good or bad.

We tend to not tell our children what is going to happen if it is going to be even slightly un-pleasant and it works just the opposite.  If you prepare them and tell them exactly what is going to happen, then to can cope with things much better.    

Take shots, for example, if you practice giving shots at home, tell your child that you are going to get shots, and then talk about how good they did afterwards, then your child will be less afraid of them than if you just spring it upon them.  

If you are changing part of your nighttime routine (no more feeding in the middle of the night, no more pacifier, no more “just one more mommy please!”) then let your child know.  Keep them in the loop.  Talk about it (even if they are teeny tiny) and then when it happens, they might even laugh about it!

When we communicate well with our children, it makes them feel more secure which helps immensely with behavior.  It also teaches them great communication skills.  It teaches them that communication can help us get through hard times.

Again, you don’t have to go overboard and tell them everything that is going to happen but one thing I love to do with my little little ones is tell them our list of to-do things.  For instance, today we are going to the bank, grocery store, computer store and park.  Or, today we have to take out the trash, put away our clothes and then make muffins.  I say it over and over.  Then as we do each task, they smile and are happy that they know exactly what to expect.  

Start today with keeping your kids in the loop!

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