Motivational interviewing is a patient-centered, communication technique that is commonly used by counselors to help motivate clients change behaviors and to help them explore and resolve conflicts. Motivation interviewing is backed by research, showing its effectiveness to increase motivation in individuals who may have been unwilling to change in the first place. Motivational interviewing is not just for clinicians… in fact, anyone can use this technique! Including parents and caregivers! There are 4 key components to keep in mind when practicing motivational interviewing:

  • Open-ended questions: Asking open-ended questions gives us opportunities to find out more about our kids’ perspective and ideas about changing their behavior.
  • Affirming: Comment on their strengths and abilities and validate their emotions (ex. “sounds like you are feeling overwhelmed”).
  • Reflective listening: Summarize what your child has said in your own words in a form of a statement rather than a question (ex. “what I hear you say is…”).
  • Summarizing: In combination of reflective listening and collection of other reflections from the beginning of the conversation, you will allow your child to hear themselves talk about change through you.

Just a couple more of things to consider: 1) Do not try to motivate your child to change their behaviors by telling him or her about your own feelings or thoughts for change, and 2) ask your child questions that promote his or her own reasons for change.

Wanna deep dive?

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Posted by:okptacultivate

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