The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice – Peggy O’Mara.
This quote echoes with me as my perceptions & behaviour as an adult have been led by my inner voice. My inner voice has been shaped by my learning & concept building from the informative & emotional conversations I’ve had with my parents during my childhood. So is the case with all readers, isn’t it?
But are we accomplishing the same with our children? Are we helping them make a constructive inner voice? Are we helping them create a favourable self-image by communicating with them at more profound levels? Talking with our children should be a necessary daily event. But, as parents, we are held up with busy schedules. So we find it suitable to maintain the conversation with our children light & quick so that we can move on to the next thing on our “to-do” list. This has become a powerful reality. Despite spending hours with our children under the same roof, we can rarely squeeze out some quality time to spend with them.
Here are some ways of actually communicating with our little ones:
Make Eye Contact
Every time you talk to your child or while your child is talking to you, maintain eye contact. Maintaining eye contact shows that you are active & attentive in the conversation.
Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings
When you acknowledge someone’s feelings & emotions, they feel accepted and secure. This is exactly what happens when you empathise with your children. When you create empathy for your children, they learn to be more sensitive & accepting toward other peoples’ feelings & emotions.
Teach Them How To Say ‘No’ Firmly
While parents say a ’no’ firmly to a child’s idealistic request or unacceptable behaviour, it is of vital importance to educate your children about doing the same in conditions that make them uncomfortable. You should let them know that every ‘no’ is not a negative answer. Instead, it is more like a choice created to ensure their safety and security.
Use More “Dos” Than “Don’ts”
“Don’t hit your sister”, don’t you say this too often to our little ones? You, as a parent understand what you don’t want to happen, so you lead in with a “don’t” statement. Even though this statement would get the message rightly of not doing a particular thing, the downside of “don’t” statements is that you fail to encourage the positive behaviour you want to see.
Be An Emotional Coach
They say that the ability to listen is as necessary as the ability to speak. In doing so, you can create an emotional bond essential for establishing and strengthening mutual respect. Effective emotional coaching helps children comprehend the emotional fluctuations of life.
Lastly, the world can be overwhelming for our children. By speaking regularly with children, you can help them create a positive view of themselves & the world.
Good communication with your child forms the foundation of good communication with other people as your child grows into an adult.
Keep working on these communication skills. It can be difficult at first. But like all skills, practice helps. When you sink up, repair it with your child and start afresh.