The Art of Communicating with Young Children
Through positive communication with young children, you can help them develop confidence, a better feel of self-worth and genial relationships with others. By being a role model of appropriate behaviour, you can get the desired behaviour from your child.
According to teachers from some of the top primary schools in Narela, a significant point to remember while communicating with children is to get her/his attention before you speak. If the child is busy playing with toys and you call them, ensure that they stop playing and actually pay attention to you. If this does not happen, you will not be able to direct the child as per your intentions. Most of the times, parents and teachers need to bend down to the children’s level or sit beside them to get attention.
Another point is to eliminate your own distractions and maintain eye contact with the child. For instance, as a parent if you are busy reading a magazine or watching TV and the child wants to talk to you, do put the magazine aside or switch off the TV and pay attention to what the child wants to say.
It’s good to keep the lines of communication open by paying attention when the child is talking to you. Nevertheless, if you are really busy in something else, do not just pretend to listen. Instead tell the child that you are busy and will talk about it later. Ensure that you indeed take up the matter later.
When you expect a child to do some work, keep that request simple. For children below the age of 6 years, too many requests can be confusing. For instance, if you want the to clean up their messy room, instead of directly commanding to “clean up the room”, it is better to say something like – “pick up your toys from the floor and put them back in the box” or “ keep those books back in the bookshelf”.
To encourage and support the child, it is necessary to ask the right questions. Frequently, you may need to ask open ended questions to extract information from the child. These begin with words like “what”, “where”, “who”, “how”, “why”. As against these close ended questions that may just require the child to answer in ‘yes’ or ‘no’ may not help you to comprehend and get the real facts about an incident.
Communication with children takes a backseat in modern families where parents – both mother and father have hectic work schedules. It is good to make the best of time that you get to spend with your little ones. At least on weekends or twice a week after work, schedule family meetings where you can talk to the kids, listen to their experiences and spend quality time with them.
Do not leave very young children unattended with devices like laptops, tablets and mobile phones. This is not just for the safety of your electronic gadget but to prevent the child from exposing herself to unrestricted flow of content on the Internet. The same holds true for TV channels. It is better to keep some channels locked if you do not wish your child to watch them.
Parents and guardians who communicate effectively with children are more likely to gain their respect and keep them obedient. Such children are also more certain about what they can expect from their parents and vice-versa. It also helps in developing a sense of security and trust in parents-child relationships.