Lesson 39 - Communicate Change

Be The Dad You Wish You Had - Ryan Roy

The video below is NOT a word for word reading of the book. It is the author giving a different perspective on the text to help YOU get a deeper understanding of the material

Communicate Change.

Always let them know what is going on.

Kids often throw fits in public places. My belief is that it is because their expectations have not been met at some level. Children do not want to go to the mall to shop, but if they’re told that they are going to go to the mall and they can prepare themselves mentally for that, it may be a different story.

Early on, my wife and I realized if our son knew exactly what was going on throughout his day there was less resistance. Therefore, we tend to tell him days in advance how our week is going to go so there are no unexpected surprises, whether good or bad.

For instance, if we are going to be in the car for nine hours, we let him know three days in advance. We make sure he understands that he is going to be in a confined space for a very long time. Kids have little or no concept of time, therefore we may reference by saying, “You could watch four movies in that time.” We also start asking what we can do to make things more comfortable for him. Do you want an iPad? Which toys do you want to bring? What snacks would you like?


Again, it goes into the planning, we have planned our week so we can share these things with him. He gets a say in what is going to make the trip comfortable for him. If those things are not making him comfortable during the trip, we reinforce those are the things he chose. We are not surprised if he becomes uncomfortable but because we have set the expectations we get very little push back. However, it is nothing near what we have heard other parents have experienced. Why? Because we were able to set the expectation in advance and he is not surprised.

Tell your children everything so that you can have more pleasant experiences. If you are prepared, they are prepared mentally. When you allow them to have a say in the preparation, it becomes a much more enjoyable experience.

This goes for all things, like starting school for the first time. Prepare them for the week and make it exciting. If you are excited, they will be excited. When he entered Kindergarten, from a Pre-K school we told him he was going to a big boy school and we said it with excitement. He was excited and still is months later.

The first time they have a baby sitter, be sure to introduce them to that person in advance. Don’t just drop a stranger on your child. Let them know at some point this person may be watching them. When that time comes there are no surprises and possibly no push back.
If they are going to go to Disney World let them know it is going to be a very long and exciting day, but after the park they will be sleeping in a hotel, rather than at home. In their young minds, they may have an expectation that they are coming back home to their bed, but they do not know unless you tell them.

The more you tell them, the less they are surprised. The less surprised, the more enjoyable the experience is for everybody. It’s all about communication with children. Everything I have talked about in this book has been about communicating and spending time at a high-level. The more you engage with your children the more fruit you will see from your labor.

The previous examples are of travel, but this works on a daily basis also. Let them know the day prior if there is something different happening in their routine.

Example: Daddy has to get to the office early tomorrow. He wants you to get your sleep. So when you get up, we will get ready for school and you will be having breakfast in the car tomorrow. You will be getting to school earlier than usual.

The normal routine is to get dressed and sit for breakfast while enjoying his favorite cartoon.

If the change is not communicated the night before and the routine he enjoys, watching his cartoon, is all of the sudden taken away from him, there will be tremendous resistance in the morning. All of that can be eliminated with simple communication the night before.

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