Be honest with what you feel and convey it in a way that it reaches out clearly. This skill is often challenging for us as adults. We look up ways to better our communication every now and then. So naturally, its importance doubles up while we develop this skill in our children. What we define as communication for our kids becomes their life long pattern. And to make the learning as best as we can, let’s understand the process of communication with children and how it works for them.
Developing linguistic skills
The primary medium in which a child communicates is language. What words to use, the ways of saying, correct intonations to express moods – these form an important part of child behaviour. Usually these skills are developed in a child by observing how people around them talk. So a good tip here is to be sharing and more expressive towards each other’s communication. Ask you kids about their day at school, insist on their sharing about how they perceive things and help them shape up a good outlook towards situations.
To make your child receptive, open and flexible, even in their thoughts, it is important to help their bodies express. To free up their bodies and learn how to physically express, play some role-play or drama games with them. If possible, enrol them for a drama class which will help them in physically loosening up, while having a lot of fun.
Communication is a two way process
An important key lesson of positive parenting is to respect your child’s opinions. We must treat their insights as equally important as ours. We are used to guiding our children with step by step instructions. This leads to the child feeling that their thoughts and opinions are not important and they should simply do what you want them to do. Instead, ask them open-ended questions and let them decide for themselves. This develops a healthy behavioural pattern in your kids.
We often come across the quote "we create what we focus on." It is true even when we are parenting. To develop a positive child behaviour, use affirmative sentences while talking to them. Instead of "Don't leave your room messy"?, try saying "Please clean up your room."? Such communication focuses on the positive outcome of a situation, instead of a complaining gesture towards it. Learning this helps the kids in nurturing an optimistic approach towards situation.
One of the most important gifts you can give to your kids is acceptance. Now, don't misunderstand acceptance as taking any kind of behaviour. It means treating them wisely and communicating with them in a way that doesn’t shame them. Avoid shouting at them in front of people (especially friends). Show kindnesses towards them when they make mistakes and tell them you love them no matter what. When we do this, we create a safe environment for them to be their natural self.
So parents, all set to speak it well?
Enjoyed this article? Read more on Practising Life Skills here.