How to Learn your Child’s Language to Improve Motivation

Jul 01, 2022

Doesn't it seem like we speak a different language than our kids, especially when it comes to getting them to do something like move, try something new, or change their eating habits?

So how do you learn your child’s language?

It's not hard. It takes 1) practice, and 2) listening.


This isn’t about learning Swahili or Dutch or Chinese.


It’s about understanding what is important to our kids, to understand their behaviors, their needs, and the opportunities they are offering us to connect with them.

What are your kids talking about?

You know, when you’re eating dinner, driving the car, or trying to sleep….

Isn’t that when the floodgates just open up and they start talking? Contrary to popular belief, now is the time to talk.




Ask questions. “Tell me more.”


They are inviting you to enter their world. And it is magical.


I have learned all about the world of tiny houses and reading crochet patterns, as well as the world of YouTube, memes, and ridiculous music lyrics.

Enter their world.

Because that’s where your child is.

You get to meet them where they are. It's the starting place to working together.

Notice how often we are told how to change our kids, create new environments and activities for them. But you can’t transport them to a world where you want them to be without running the significant risk of telling them that their world, their approach, their interests aren’t of value or are wrong.

No. That is the furthest thing from the truth and a motivation-destroyer.

We meet them where they are.

As you work together, build connections, and work off of what motivates them, you can introduce them to your world and new environments – over time.

First you have to meet them where they are now. And you know where they are by listening to what they talk about.

At Family in Focus, we call this connecting.

If you’re going to create stronger relationships with food, body, self, family - you first start where you are.

It’s not about trying to change.

It’s about lovingly embracing & connecting with who you are, who they are, what is right now.

Your kids will bask in the attention and interest, after initially wondering why you’re suddenly so interested in YouTube.

Enter their world, listen, learn their language and build those connections. It’s going to pay off handsomely.

Much love



Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!

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