TPP 324: A Conversation about Declarative Language and Co-Regulation, with Linda Murphy
For the past few years, I’ve been hearing about this concept called “declarative language,” and although I had an idea of what it was, after reading my guest Linda Murphy’s Declarative Language Handbook, I couldn’t wait to bring her on the show because it offers another transformational tool for our parenting differently wired kids’ toolbox.
Linda describes declarative language as a positive, thoughtful communication style that emphasizes understanding, patience, respect, and kindness, and as you’ll hear from our conversation, it is an ideal communication style for really all children, but especially neurodivergent children and kids whose nervous systems are triggered by demands or more imperative communication styles.
We discussed the different ways we can communicate with our children, the language we use, and the effects that simple shifts in the way we have conversations can have in our daily interactions with them. We also explored what is declarative language versus imperative language, as well as the relationship between co-regulation and declarative language and why we should use them in tandem.
Linda K. Murphy MS, CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist and RDI® Consultant. She co-founded Peer Projects - Therapy From the Heart, a clinic in Beverly, MA dedicated to helping kids and families by using a positive, thoughtful communication style that emphasizes understanding, patience, respect, and kindness. Linda has been working with individuals with social learning differences for over 25 years. She leads trainings on the topic of social learning, has authored Declarative Language Handbook, Co-Regulation Handbook, numerous articles, and co-authored the book Social Thinking and Me with Michelle Garcia Winner.
Things you'll learn from this episode
- What it means to use declarative language (versus imperative language)
- Why declarative language is so effective for neurodivergent children, and especially those who are wired to be more demand avoidance
- Why declarative language is more effective when paired with co-regulation
- Common language and communication styles that place demands on kids that we may not be aware of (including questions)
- How to introduce declarative language communication and how it can support a child’s learning and development
- What we can hope to see in a child or an adolescent that has been on the receiving end of this style of communication
- What to say instead of “Did you hear what I said”?
- Linda Murphy’s website
Declarative Language Handbook: Using a Thoughtful Language Style to Help Kids with Social Learning Challenges Feel Competent, Connected, and Understood by Linda K. Murphy
- Declarative Language website
- Declarative Language on Facebook
- Declarative Language on Instagram
- One Exchange at a Time (from Linda’s blog)
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