Communication with Children
Kids learn by watching us. They also learn by listening to our words and actions. This means that when we communicate well, we are teaching our children how to communicate effectively.
There are two forms of communication verbal and nonverbal. Verbal communication is through words and tone of voice. While nonverbal communication is through facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures, and physical touch.
According to UNICEF, in verbal communication, parents should use words that are easy for their children to understand. The way you communicate with your children shapes their emotional development and how they can build relationships with others. Therefore, as a parent, you need to take care of the example you set for your children. Building communication skills is a crucial step that parents help their children develop.
If you start early, you will develop good habits that will help you throughout your life. You can also teach your child how to communicate effectively by modeling these behaviors yourself.
Children need to be able to communicate at every age, but the toddler years are necessary. Toddlers learn languages by listening to what others say and repeating back what they hear. As toddlers get older, they begin to use words and phrases to express themselves. By the time they reach school age, they should be able to speak clearly and concisely.
It is easy to forget that kids are little people who need to understand what we are saying. If you speak slowly and clearly, they will notice the difference.
Kids are naturally curious. They love learning new things and asking questions. So, when you talk to them, make sure you answer their questions as soon as possible. This will help them feel more comfortable talking to you.
When kids ask questions, it is important to be patient and answer them quickly. If you are waiting for them to ask a question before answering, they will get frustrated and stop asking. Plus, if you wait too long, they might forget what they wanted to know.
Children enjoy learning new things, and they frequently ask questions without even realizing it. Asking questions helps them understand concepts better and gives you a chance to teach them something new. The best thing to do is to answer their questions right away. You should always try to answer questions as soon as you can because children often forget what they want to know after a while. And if they forget what they asked for, they might not ask again.
Listen to Them
You have to show your children that you are actively listening to them, as this will show them how much you care for and understand them. You need to be active in the conversation and repeat what they are saying using synonyms for the words they are using. This way, they will feel like they have space to express their emotions and that it is a two-way conversation.
It is essential to ask them questions like, “What?” “How?” “When?” “Where?”. By doing this, you are assisting your child in understanding what information belongs in a conversation, which will enhance their communication skills.
Give Them Time to Think
When you ask your child a question, they need time to process the information. The more time you give your kid to think before answering, the more ready they’ll be. Giving them time to think allows them to develop critical thinking skills.
Asking questions rather than giving instructions to your children may help them open up to you. For instance, if you see your child playing alone during the school break, rather than criticizing them, find out why. You might discover that your child wants uninterrupted time to read a book or draw. Or maybe your child doesn’t feel comfortable talking to other kids because they have trouble expressing emotions. Your child has the chance to express their feelings by answering your questions.
This will allow you to know if your child is having trouble communicating with others or if they have a talent that should help them develop and grow.
If your little one has feelings such as happiness but does not express them, help them put them into words such as “happy” or “joyful.” Use this method in other circumstances where they might feel angry, sad, embarrassed, powerless, or annoyed. Whenever your child is expressing their feelings verbally, listen to them closely, and never judge what they are saying. Consider how they perceive life and try to picture it from their perspective.
Let Them Decide
Asking questions is an effective way to communicate with children. However, there are times when you need to let them decide how they want to answer. For instance, if you ask, “Do you want to go outside?” and your child says no, you should not force them to leave the house. Instead, try asking another question, such as “What do you want to do instead?”
Your child should have the space to decide what they want to do when you ask them a question. If your child answers yes, then you should follow their lead. If your child answers no, then you should respect their decision.
Children learn from watching us. We model our behavior, and we teach them by example. As parents, we want to be sure that our kids know that we value their opinions and choices. We risk losing some of our power if we consistently agree with them. That’s why you should make it clear that you respect their decisions, yet you have a saying and a point of view as a parent, and if anything they say does not seem right to you, it is okay to disagree with them.
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