Are you able to have effective communication with children?
Have you ever seen a kid screaming, regardless of what the parents do to to try to soothe him?
Most of us should have been there. But we might not have any clues to avoid the screaming child situation.
That’s why most parents just raise their voices and demand the child stops making noise.
In fact, with the right techniques, you can actually minimise the tantrums by talking to your kid.
Below is what I’ll cover in this article to help you communicate effectively with your child so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
- Why should you acknowledge the feelings of children?
- How to make use of communication skills to convince your kids?
- Why shouldn’t you punish your children?
- How to help your children become independent?
- How to praise your children in the most helpful way?
- Final Thoughts: effective communication with children
Why should you acknowledge the feelings of children?
Instead of blaming your child when he is screaming, what else can you do to pacify the situation?
Most of the time, kids don’t listen to their parents because their feelings aren’t properly acknowledged.
A child’s behavior is subject to how he or she feels, but we forgot to take into account their feelings when we try to talk to them.
It’s futile to demand your child to pipe down in the supermarket. The reason is that he might just be feeling hungry or frustrated at being overlooked. Your child is too small to be aware of the intentions behind his own behaviors.
So you need to acknowledge his feelings by showing that you are listening. You might tell him you know he is hungry or just grant him his wish in fantasy.
But if you don’t understand what they are, don’t try to acknowledge his feelings. This will add more fuel to the fire when he thinks that you aren’t listening to him.
How to make use of communication skills to convince your kids?
If you can master the communication skills that help you to talk to your kid in the right way, you’ll be able to create an atmosphere of respect and understanding, which is crucial if you want to change your child’s behavior.
Let’s say if you have a kid who is in the middle of a tantrum and demands to stay up past his bedtime.
First, don’t accuse him. Just describe the problem you see to him so that he can understand the negative impacts.
For example, you may tell him that if he stays up late, he might grow slower in height and fail to get recruited for the basketball school team.
When you explain these points, your child can gradually figure out the problems themselves which is good for them.
By communicating this way, you’ll find him more readily to listen to you, without any need to raise your voice or pointing fingers.
Why shouldn’t you punish your children?
The traditional way of educating a child usually involves punishment. It seems an effective way to prevent him from repeating his offences.
But punishment only gives rise to anger and confrontation, which damages your relationship with him.
When you punish a child, he is encouraged to harbor grudges against you, making him far less likely to heed your advice next time. So punishment only hinders your child from learning why what they did is wrong.
For example, when your older kid stays out too late during the school week, you might decide to punish him.
But fobbing him to hang out will only make him feel angry and thought you were just paranoid.
So you need to use another approach.
First, try to have a dialogue and find out why he came home late. Then you can open up and express your feelings, explaining why you feel concerned if he comes home long after the curfew.
This can be followed by a brainstorm with him to reach consensus on some possible solutions. For example, he has to text you the estimated time of his arrival at home if he has to stay out late.
However, you shouldn’t force your favorite ideas on your child. Remember the goal is to come to a mutual agreement.
Giving up punishment is a leap in the right direction to helping your kid think independently about the consequences of his behavior.
How to help your children become independent?
If you want your kid to become independent, you must allow them to act and discover things on their own.
After all, children must eventually grow up and become responsible adults.
But watching him struggle to make his own choices isn’t that comfortable to you. Just think about watching your kid tinkering with his shoelaces. It would be much easier to just bend down and do it for him.
The thing is, when your child gets used to depending on you, he will gradually feel helpless or even worthless.
In the worst case, he might feel infantilized and frustrated, as if he’s not allowed to be his own self.
So, you should encourage your child to make his own decision. For example, if the problem is homework versus free time, let your kid design his own schedule. Though he has to complete the homework, he can make a choice on when to do it.
Also, try to encourage him to seek advice from friends or teachers so that he doesn’t rely too much on you.
Your child might struggle from time to time, but he deserves the chance to explore answers for himself.
That way, you can gradually set him well on the way to autonomy.
How to praise your children in the most helpful way?
Praise is crucial for helping your kid develop self-esteem.
But in reality, praising is much trickier than you think. When your kid has done a great job, what should you say to praise him?
Despite your good intention, your praise might bring about unexpected reactions such as anxiety, or it might even be seen as manipulative.
So, how to praise in the most helpful way?
For example, when you kid showed you a story written by him.
Instead of saying, “You wrote a good story,” say “Your story really moved me, I especially love the ending.” You can also summarise your kid’s behavior such as stating “That’s what I call talent!”
However, you shouldn’t hint at past failures. Saying, “Your last story was really bad, but this one is better!” won’t help your kid reap all the good feelings of his praiseworthy behaviour.
Apart from that, we shouldn’t label any bad behavior. Because kids might adapt to their labels and start behaving accordingly, becoming convinced that they’re what they’ve been blamed for, such as lazy or selfish.
Unless you want your child to repeat the bad behavior, never label him.
Final Thoughts: Effective Communication with Children
Instead of blaming your kids for their blunders or mischief, you can actually improve communication with them by adjusting the way you talk to them.
By sharing feelings, listening and showing respect, your kids will gradually become more independent, thus relieving your burdens as a parent.
So, next time when you want to scold or punish your kid, pause for a moment and try to share your feelings with him. You might be surprised at how understanding your kid can be.