How to Communicate With Young Boys

Wendy Mogel asks, “Should We Speak to Little Boys as We Do Little Dogs?”:

My question to the parents in my office is this: What percentage of your communication with your son consists of nagging, reminding, chastising or yelling? “Uh … 90 percent, 100?” Which I know isn’t true, just as confidently as I know these boys aren’t mentally ill and these families aren’t rife with hidden dysfunction.

I do it 110 percent with my boys and they still don’t listen. I even feel annoyed at myself for keep repeating it. For instance, I told Đán not to lean over his chair every time we have dinner. The other day, I was so fed up that I didn’t remind him. He fell off and hurt himself. He cried and blamed on me for not reminding him even though I told him so so many times. Our dining table and chairs are higher than the usual set because I did not think about kids when we bought them.

For Đạo, no matter how many times we asked him not to bring toys on the dinning table, he does it every time. We have to ask him to put them away every time. I told my wife, I am getting tired of getting to get out of bed, to brush their teeth, and to put on their clothes. If we don’t remind them they wouldn’t do it on their own. I guess they’ll be ready whenever they are ready.

Mogel advises:

Shower your son with the easy affection, appreciation and tolerance you show your dog.

I never have dog; therefore, I wouldn’t know how to appreciate and tolerate dog.