As parents we want our words to work like swirling a magic wand. We wave and it should happen. Kids however think otherwise, I believe they are build in a manner to defy everything that is being said to them in the first go. We all like being requested, rather than being commanded and it works similarly with kids. There are times when the requests go unanswered as well and here is where your tact of being an adult comes into being.
There is this amazing book that is names, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk”. I haven’t quite gotten around to read the book completely but have been recommended by many. So I am almost going to pick a copy of this book written by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish which has sold over more than 5 million copies worldwide. You can buy the book or read it here
I often tell people that Parenting is as good as attending a school for me because I am learning every day. The only difference is that this school has very few days off for the parents. The most important factor of parenting is how you make each other feel. You need to always always keep both yours and your child’s feeling in mind. We often pick cues from friends and family or online portals on how to speak to kids. We work on our behavior and activities to do with them, for them etc. We seldom fail to realize that before we utter a word to our kids, our body language speaks to them too. Mind you, kids are great at picking up signs.
For example, if you are on a phone call or reading a book and your child rushes in to tell you about something. If you just casually answer them or immediately show signs that you were disturbed by them, believe me, it wouldn’t be long if they decided not to share things. As someone who is parenting a 6 year old and have taught younger and older kids, I have some experiences to share.
We often provide lots of verbal approval while our body language speaks differently. We need to understand that in any form of communication, our body language comprises of more than half the conversation. So always, look at your kids in the eye and talk and encourage them to do so.
Do not bend over kids when speaking to them, instead bend down to their level and then try and communicate with them.This makes them feel less intimidated. While as parents we take utmost care about touching kids when talking however when you are appreciating kids, always show some form of appreciation through touch, either tap their head, ruffle their hair or pat them on the back,
You can even give them a high-five too. When conversing with kids, its better to form your statements as questions. When the child tries to answer them, pretend to not knowing answers which will encourage the child to answer himself/ herself. Appreciate the child on giving solutions and even go to the length of saying that, they taught you something new.
Always smile and talk your kids. They will learn to do the same. Various groups on social media propagate the benefits of positive parenting. Positive parenting doesn’t mean that you do not say no.It simply means having to say no in a different manner. You may have to use longer sentences or give reasons when doing so but believe me, you will raise a well informed child.
Never interrupt your child when talking or asking questions. In fact, encourage them to ask questions because they will learn that, it is asking questions that will fetch them answers.
You should avoid confining their imagination to boundaries. When teaching about places, people or communities, let them come up with their own answers. This will instill positive faith in them and they will learn to look at the goodness in the world.
As adults, we would love to ensure that our kids remain little. It is when they are little is when their imagination needs to be channelized and their communication skills need to be appreciated and built.
One of our biggest duties as parents is to raise honest, confident humans and it is through our little efforts that we can turn them into confident adults.