How To Talk So Your Child Will Listen with Don & Gina Grothoff, gives tips for communicating better with children for a better relationship. To watch this interview, click on the link/picture below.

Transcript How To Talk So Your Child Will Listen:

Kristina: Welcome impactful parent. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of communication and how that affects your relationship with your child and your child’s behaviors. Today we have special guests, Don and Gina Grothoff. They are behavior transformation specialists. They work with families to teach communication skills that help the behaviors of children and improve the parent-child relationship. I’m very happy to have them on today. Thank you for being here, Don and Gina.

Don/Gina: Thank you for having us.

Kristina: How do I know whether or not I’m a good or bad communicator? How would I know whether or not this video is going to be important to me?

Gina: The name of the workshop we do is based on the book called How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk. If you find yourself frustrated that you’re saying things over and over again, and your kids aren’t listening to you. Or you’re wanting them to be more independent. Maybe you’re constantly having to remind them to do things? Maybe you’re not really getting cooperation from them? Communication is something that we all could use to improve, right?

Don: We have a line that we use that “behavior is a foreign language.” A lot of people don’t realize that behavior isn’t really the issue. Behavior is really a means of communication. It’s really about what underlines the behavior issue that is the real problem. If you can understand communication behavior, you can discover other ways of communicating with your child.  Then, you can get down and start working on the real issue.

How To Talk So Your Child Will Listen

How To Talk So Your Child Will Listen

Kristina: Let’s give this audience some action item tips that they can use today. Let’s say their child has a behavior issue. What are some things that parents can do to help their child and improve the communication interaction?

Gina: The first thing you can do is, describe the situation. If you walk in the room and your kids are fighting, describe what you see. You may say something like, “I see you both want this toy. It looks like you’re trying to pull it away from each other, or you’re trying to hit each other.”

Don: Don’t comment on the character of the child.  You’re describing what you see

Gina: Another thing you can do is give them choices. For example, it’s time to get ready for bed. Would you like me to help you pick up the toys, or would you like to do it yourself?  You’re giving them choices, but both choices have the outcome you’re looking for. Sometimes kids need a little direction. They need to be able to choose between this or that.

Kristina: I want to comment on that because I love giving children choices. It empowers them. Plus, it’s so much more effective to get what you want.

Don: One of my favorite techniques is “giving it to them in fantasy.” For example, let’s say you have a child that wants a certain type of cereal you don’t have, but they’re demanding it.  Try having some fun with it instead. You can say, “I wish I had a big huge magic wand, and poof, I could make a huge box of that cereal right here for you. The problem is, we don’t have that cereal, so how can we make this other cereal magical instead?”

Kristina:  It’s you phrase what you want from your child that makes all the difference.

How did you determine that communication was an important part of parenting in your practice?

How To Talk So Your Child Will Listen

How To Talk So Your Child Will Listen

Gina: We have a daughter with anxiety disorders and suffered from severe OCD from a young age. In our process of getting help for her, going to different professionals, and looking at all different types of resources, we realized something was missing. We found communication changes made a huge difference in her behaviors.  Communication was the missing piece that made a big difference in helping her with her recovery.

Kristina: How do I start helping my child if I think my communication might be a contributing issue?

Don: Begin by practicing your listening skills. You want to understand their feelings and accept their feelings.  Parents tend to be fixers. We want to be able to answer it, fix it, and resolve it. A lot of times, we have to stop ourselves and just listen. Hear their frustrations.  You don’t need to respond with more than just an occasional couple of words. Sometimes that’s all our kids need.

Kristina: Yes, listening is communicating. Many times our children just need to be heard. Parents don’t have to fix everything. We want to empower our kids to be able to fix things themselves.

Gina: Remember, it doesn’t matter how long the problems have been going on. You can always improve communication and improve the relationship that you have with your child.

Kristina:  if people listen to this and resonate with what you’re saying, tell us a little bit more about what you do and how they can reach you.

How To Talk So Your Child Will Listen

How To Talk So Your Child Will Listen

Don/Gina:  We work both one on one with families, and we do communication workshops. You can find out more by going to  Our events page will give you the dates and times of our next workshops.

Kristina:  Thank you for being here, Don and Gina.  Suppose parents need help with their child’s big emotions like anxiety or anger management. In that case, you can also go to my online DIY program at or  Also, don’t forget to check out everything that The Impactful Parent has to offer!  Go to and discover free resources and more!

Until next time, you got this! We are just here to help.

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