While communication is extremely necessary for any relationship, communicating with kids can get a little tricky as you need to be careful regarding what you speak and understand how a particular statement will be perceived by the innocent minds. At such a tender age, it might get a little difficult for kids to articulate their feelings and emotions. Thus, there are few things that you need to keep in mind while talking to children. Here are some tips on how to talk to children
Communication is the most effective when done face-to-face with a proper eye contact. And this is even more important when you are speaking to kids. It should be kept in mind that you have their full attention before you speak. Gestures like holding their hands or a light pat on their back would draw their attention towards you. Only when you have their undivided attention as well as yours, communicate.
Communication with your child is meaningful only when you come down to their level and explain things. Kids are sensitive, take one thing at a time and their minds are not as matured as adults. Hence, you need to explicitly speak everything and not expect them to read between the lines. For instance, if you are telling them about a certain activity and the emotion attached to it, speak it completely- the action and the emotion attached.
Speak firmly. If you want them to do to a certain thing or behave in a particular manner, say that clearly and firmly. Give instructions which are crisp, clear and consistent. Your body language and tone should also match your words. This gives your child an indication that the discussion is serious and should be paid heed to.
Use sentences that are simple and easy for them to understand. Asking a kid to do more than one thing can lead to confusion and difficult to remember. It is also important that you express yourself consistently. If you are vexed with a particular action of theirs, do not wait for another incident to happen to explain things to your child. This might send a wrong signal and confuse them since you do not object to the behaviour in the first place but do so in the next. Make clear and precise statements and set mutual expectations right.
It is not always easy to tell them the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. Tell what needs to be done than saying what should not be. A positive message is more likely to be accepted and worked on than a negative one. Allow them to make their own choices. Do not instruct them on every action. They are likely to act appropriately when given some level of freedom for their actions.
We often just go on instructing our child without stopping to listen to what they have to say. Keep the communication channel open both ways. It is crucial that you also pay equal attention as you expect from them. It is also important that you maintain a proper eye contact and body language when they speak to you sending a positive signal that you are paying attention to their words.
It is important that you use appropriate words and phrases and are encouraging and appreciating them for their actions. However, avoid appreciating them only for one particular task done well. If you are more concerned about their grades, do not just appreciate them when they get good ones and stay mum if they score a little less but make it to the athletics team. Encourage and appreciate them for positive behavior, initiative taken and success in their specific interests.
Keep in mind to not compare your kid with others or siblings. Cite out the expected behaviour but refrain from comparing them with other kids.
If you are trying to get your kid say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, make sure that you include them in your conversation. Say the words when you speak to them helping them pick up the habit. At that age, parents are the only individuals that a child spends most of the time with and is likely to imitate their words and actions. So, keep in mind to use the right words and phrases.
A positive communication helps the child to build a strong personality, be self-confident, feel self-worth and carry the positivity to the other relationships in the future. Hence, it is extremely important that you ensure to have a positive communication with your child.