Short & Sweet

Just like the title, I promise to keep this one short and sweet.

How often have you given a long-winded explanation to your child only to find out they only heard the first five words you said?

I use this rule at home, your Childs attention span is seconds for each year of their life. A 2 years old therefore has an attention span of 2s, 3 year old 3s and so on.

Once you realize that you have such a limited window of attention it is no surprise when your children react the way they do to your requests right?

Refusing to Conform

I grew up with a Mom who loved to lecture me. Or so it seemed to me. I vowed I would never lecture my kids because I hated being lectured to. It made me feel smaller than a breadcrumb.

So whenever I find myself tempted to enter lecture-mode with my kids, I stop and think. I choose my words extremely carefully because I remember zoning out during my Mom’s very long lectures. I’d let my mind wander somewhere else as she went on and on, saying the same thing in various ways.

I ask myself, “What is the point I want to make because I know that their attention span is about as long as their smallest toe.”

This forces me to calm down and narrow in on the issue. What does my child really need to learn here? How can I say what they need to hear in one sentence and in such a way that they will understand?”

Recipe for Tool #7 :

Step 1 – Stop and Breathe

Before saying anything, literally stop, take a deep breath and compose your thoughts. Are you about to have verbal diarrhea or are you going to speak with surgical precision to help your children learn an important lesson?

Step 2 – Think Before You Speak

Choose your words carefully, use positive sentences.

Step 3 – Keep it Short and Sweet

You have 2 seconds with your two year old. Make it count!

To the Point

Think before you speak.

What point do I want to get across?

What lesson does your child need to learn?

Choose only the most important point and speak it calmly to your child.

Do this and be surprised at how much your children start listening to you.


HB is a roller coaster father, one minute he is ecstatic about his children, the next he wonders if life will ever get any better. A long standing member of the 'I yell at my kids' club, he writes with passion and an analytical mind. Dissecting and separating the nuanced strategies that make a good parent great. He experiments with parenting techniques on his 3 year old so you don't have to.

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