Talk, Talk, Talk

                Talk, talk, talk. That is the right thing to do. Talking is how we teach, it’s how anyone learns anything when we’re too young to read. It’s how we teach when we’re not trying to also teach power dynamics and some version of ‘might is right.’ There are two ways to teach someone who can’t yet learn in the library or on the internet and they are modelling, that is, teaching by example, and talk. As to teaching by example, that will happen with kids, whether we mean for it to happen or not; they will do what you do, they are watching you. They can’t understand most of what we say when they’re very young, but they can see you. For this reason, as well as many others, don’t punish. Your kids will see it, they will see a large, powerful person imposing unpleasantness (which can mean some nasty, physical stuff, but any unpleasantness is a poor enough example) on a small, powerless person, and that is not the thing we want our children to copy. When you only talk, you are modelling non-violence – that is what we want our little ones to copy. So, talk, only talk, that is the thing to do, and the following possible objections to this advice don’t matter, or at least not enough to do anything different:

                  – they can’t understand most of what we say

                 – it doesn’t always stop the bad behaviour

                 – it doesn’t train them to listen

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