Are we helping them build a constructive inner voice? Are we helping them create a positive self-image by communicating with them at more profound levels? Talking with our children should be an important daily event. But, as parents, we are kept up with busy schedules. So we find it suitable to keep 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 harsh 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 when your child is speaking to you, maintain eye contact. Maintaining eye contact shows that you are active and focused in the conversation.
If you cannot hold eye contact, get on your knees or sit down, so your eyes are on the exact level as his. This will encourage open & transparent communication.
Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings
When you acknowledge someone’s feelings & emotions, they feel accepted and secure. This is precisely what happens when you sympathise with your children. When you build empathy for your children, they themselves learn to be more sensitive & accepting towards other peoples’ feelings & emotions. Moreover, just by acknowledging their feelings, you as parents, are teaching them that their feelings are real & valid.
Rationalise The Correction
Having grown up in a joint family, I had many correctors & advisors around. Every time I would make a mistake, I was loaded with comments like ‘ stop behaving like this ‘ or ‘this is not how it is done. Just asking to stop bearing in a particular manner is not enough to instil a new behaviour. What is important is that a calm explanation should also be provided for it. Giving a written explanation will help your child understand the implications of their behaviour for others.
Teach Them How To Say ‘No’ Firmly
While parents say a ’no’ firmly to a child’s romantic request or unacceptable behaviour, it is of paramount necessity to educate your children around doing the same in situations that make them uncomfortable. You should tell them that every ‘no’ is not a negative answer. Instead, it is more like a preference to ensure their own safety and security.
Use More “Dos” Than “Don’ts”
You, as a parent know what you don’t want to occur, so you lead in with a “don’t” statement. Even though this statement would convey the message rightly of not doing a particular thing, the downside of “don’t” statements is that you fail to promote the positive behaviour you like to see. Therefore you are more likely to reinforce the behaviour you don’t want. Rather, you should use more respectful “do” statements.
Use Kind Words
Kind words create a respectful relationship and better communication with your child. It is true that children who are spoken to with gratitude and respect also have better self-worth, which allows them to thrive. On the negative, unkind words that shame or ridicule them leave them feeling disliked.
Good communication is the heart of more pleasant homes and is the key to a healthy relationship with your child. It supplies a place your child can thrive and grow from. 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 slip up, repair it with your child & start afresh.