7 Strategies to Have a Healthy Communication with Your Child
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Being able to communicate effectively is an essential skill. It is what enables us to pass information to other people and to understand what is said to us. Communication is key in any relationship. Your relationship with your children is no exception. Moreover, communication with children is essential to their relationships and development. Good communication involves listening and talking in ways that make children feel important and valued. As parents, communicating well with your children helps them develop skills for communicating with others.
Practice Active Listening
Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person i.e. a sender and a receiver to improve mutual understanding between two parties. It is an important first step, especially when there is a miscommunication in the situation and you wish to seek solutions to problems. By listening actively you will be able to pay close attention to what your child is attempting to communicate with you. Oftentimes, when you are occupied with something, you can miss out on what your child is saying. When this happens, remain as patient as possible and let them know that you will get back to them. Perhaps allocating time to listen to what they have to say in a day will be useful.
If you need help with getting your infant to listen, this article will be useful for you.
Pay Attention To Body Language
Sometimes, they could be overwhelmed by their environment and find it difficult to put forward what they wish to convey. Along with it, focus on their body language as well i.e. non-verbal cues. It speaks more than the mouth speaks. When necessary, get down to their eye level, remember to maintain eye contact, and flash a bright smile whenever. By doing so, you will be able to listen and reply i.e. provide feedback in an effective manner.
Build Up Your Child’s Positive Self Esteem
Children are very observant and may base an overall opinion of themselves based on how others treat them. As parents, being polite while communicating can give your child the confidence they need. Frequent mention of negative statements can impact the child negatively. Children thrive with words of encouragement and praise. Some examples include, “Great Job”, “You did amazing”, “I am so proud of you”, “That is amazing”, “You are so good at <activity>”, “Thank you”, and “I really appreciate your help”.
Keep Your Instructions Simple
Children are likely unable to focus on a lot of information in one shot. When giving out instructions, remember to break down your instructions and mention them to your child. Maybe even label it as 1,2 and 3, or wait till your child is done with the first task and then move on to the next task. Remember not to overdo the instructions and make it a point to avoid nagging at your child. This would only make them want to stop listening to you any longer.
Check For Understanding
Unknowingly, you might have forgotten to keep the instructions simple or your child simply could have been confused or could not catch it. Make it a habit to check if they understand things. You can do so by making them repeat what you said. And if needed rephrase your sentences or show them the task you want them to do and leave at it till they finish it and then move on to the next.
Mention Do’s Instead Of Don’t’s
When communicating with them, mention the Do’s instead of the Don’t’s. It will give your child positive encouragement. Your child will respond better this way since they would prefer this over being “scolded” when you use don’t. Examples include swapping out “do remember to play nicely with your friends”, for “don’t fight with your friends”.
Click here to learn how to say no to your child.
Be On Your Toes
Children tend to take whatever they hear as it is. Saying things like, “I am busy”, “Later”, “Why are you crying again”, can make your child feel neglected and as though their emotions are invalid. They see everything from what you say, your tone, and even your body language. Remember to use a gentle voice, give them cuddles, take the time to communicate, and praise them often. Try to make a conscious effort to mind what you communicate with your child.
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