Monday, November 1, 2010

Communication

I recently had to teach a lesson about communication, and I thought it would be a great topic to write on here on the good old Help Me Grow blog. Many may feel that communication just involves talking and forget that there is another very important aspect, listening. People both talk and listen in very different ways, and when these ways do not fit together correctly, there is often confusion and misunderstanding. So I went to the wonderful world of Google to see if there was an effective way for parents to communicate with their child. I found a great article entitled 20 Ways To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen.  I will just list a few of my favorite concepts below.

  1. Use your child's name. Your own name is music to your ears. Our kids are no different, plus it helps to get their attention before delivering your message. eg "George, please go and get……..". Young children can often only concentrate on one thing at a time. Call your child's name until you have their attention before you speak. Eg "Helen". (Wait until she stops kicking the ball and looks at you.) "Lunch will be ready in ten minutes". 
  2. Use positive language – try not to being saying "no" or "don't" all of the time. There is no doubt that if we say "Don't drop that glass" or "No running inside" or "Don't drag your coat in the dirt" your child has that image and thought imbedded in their mind and more times than not, they will drop the glass!  Instead, try to word what you want them to do. Eg "Only walking inside please" or "Hold onto that glass, it is a special one" or "Hold the coat up so it doesn't drag".   This requires much thought and practice but is well worth the effort.
  3.  Model and expect good manners – Good manners at home or anywhere shouldn't be optional. If you model good manners to your children and everyone else, they will see that good manners is expected and displayed on a consistent level. Start teaching your children to say the basics like "please" and "thank you" before they can talk. Children deserve the common courtesy of manners that adults use with each other. They will often imitate the speech and behaviour of their parents and carers. Say "please", "thank you" and "you're welcome" to your kids as you would anyone else.

    To read the rest of the article, click http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/parenting/talk-to-kids-listen.shtml

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