snowy dialog

May 26, 2009 at 3:05 am 4 comments

I’m going to start posting actual dialog that occurs in our house. Not because every word spoken in our house is a gem of wisdom, (no way!) but because we have heard that it is helpful for parents to hear how we communicate with our kids. By the end of the day my brain is not capable of remembering more than one exchange verbatim so please keep in mind that these excerpts are not necessarily exciting or ground breaking, just a conversation that I remember.

This is an exchange between me (Natalie), Xi (5 years old), and Echo (2 years old).

Xi: Echo!!! I was playing with that!
Echo: NO! No Xi! I’m playing with that!! (screeching)
Me: Xi will you please let go of…
Xi: (panicked, crying) But Nallie I want Snowy back!
Me: OK. I can help you with that, but grabbing Snowy out of her hands isn’t going to work. Echo, Xi feels like she wasn’t done playing with that teddy bear will you give it back to her?
Echo: No.
Me: Xi, to be fair, Snowy was just sitting there so she looked available to Echo.
Xi: But Snowy was watching me do Webkinz!
Me: OK but now you are done with Webkinz what did you have in mind for Snowy?
Xi: I was going to just walk around with her.
Me: OK do you want to talk to Echo about that?
Xi: Echo I wasn’t done with her yet. I was going to walk around with her. Can I have her now?
Echo: No I hold her.
Xi: Nallie!
Me: Echo I see that you are holding Snowy and having a turn. Just to let you know Xi is waiting to have her back.
Echo: (no answer)
…time passes. meanwhile Xi tries to pretend that Snowy is crying for her to hold her etc.
Me: Xi I think that you pretending to talk for Snowy and pretending that she wants you to hold her is keeping Echo interested in Snowy.
Xi: But I want her back. Will you help me get her?
Me: Yeah. What I think I will do is wait one or two minutes and then talk to Echo about it again.
Xi: Two minutes!! How ’bout one minute.
Me: OK
…a few minutes later…
Echo: Here you go Xi. You can have Snowy.

This exchange wouldn’t work if there were not A LOT of trust in place. They trust that we can work it out. They trust that I care about each of their feelings. To find out more about creating a trusting relationship with your kid please visit us

Entry filed under: empathy. Tags: , , , .

color! modeling, not just for fashion anymore

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. justagirlcalledbel  |  June 6, 2009 at 2:42 am

    I love your stuff! you give me a lot of hope. I work with kids and study and teach NVC.
    Yai to you.

    with love, bel

    • 2. Natalie Christensen  |  June 7, 2009 at 3:41 am

      Thanks bel!
      It’s so fun to get feedback, sometimes it feels like I am whispering into the grand canyon of cyber space. Glad to know you are out there.

  • 3. Jen  |  October 7, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Okay I’ve been thinking about this one overnight. (Devil’s advocate here, I really love your stuff and I’m excited to be learning about it and using it!) I feel like this exchange took advantage of the older child. Let’s say Xi was a younger child, not so passive, and snatched the bear back from Echo. What then?

    I realize this is six months ago, but I just discovered your blog 🙂

    • 4. nataliechristensen  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks Jen,
      We are putting together a re-visit of the Snowy Dialog. Look for it on Sunday. Thanks for joining us!


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