Seven things every child needs to hear: I love you, I’m proud of you, I’m sorry, I forgive you, I’m listening. This is your responsibility. You have what it takes to succeed.
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them
Children learn from their parents and they learn best when they are encouraged to do things with love; they become who we teach them to become.
Children are good at imitating so they will start doing what they see firstly at home and than at nursery/ playgroups and outside. The way we speak to them will show them is what they do is right or wrong.
But, how do we talk to them properly? What do we say when they don’t behave? What do we say to them when they don’t listen?
These are moments when we lose it and our patience runs low and we whisper “f..k sake”, praying we were not heard. We are calling all higher powers to give us strength and not raise our voices.
I know it’s not an easy task and I know there will be so many moments when you will shout and try to explain yourself later.
But see, this is where we go wrong. We should be strong. We should be the bigger person and smile at our children, show them what they have done wrong, try and make the right way fun and attractive. We should give them a cuddle and encourage them to listen to us.
If we shout we only make them scared, confused and therefore the results will be disastrous, specially long term. They learn that it’s ok to shout, they learn that it’s ok to get angry and scream and they will do it anytime. They will see your shouts as rebellions and that is what you will get every time you will try and get them to do something.
Children are smart but also sensitive, they need appreciation, they need value and they need to know that they are safe and loved.
Here are best tips to talk to your child properly:
- keep it simple: kids get confused easily so when you try to get them to do certain tasks try and not add too many in one sentence
- suggest options and alternatives: it is easier for them to understand why they need to do certain things and why they are in their advantage (Ruby, if you put your shoes on we are going outside to play)
- connect with your child: look them in the eye when you are saying things.
When you are chatting with your kids, this also shows them what they should do. Not only does it demonstrate good manners, but it also helps you to listen to each other. Say your child’s name until you get their eye contact, especially before giving them a direction. It is important that they give you their attention, and you should model the same behavior for them.
- always use positive language: try and avoid the big NO as much as possible. If we want them to take their shoes off when they come in the house we shouldn’t say: “Don’t walk with your shoes on in the house” but instead tell them: “Ruby, let’s take our shoes off before getting in the house”
- use your child’s name: it helps a lot with getting their attention before delivering a message
- ask open-ended questions: avoid the questions that have a yes or no answer as they are no very helpful when it comes to helping your children to open their minds and their imagination. Ask them: “what was your favourite time of the day?” Instead of “Did you have fun today?”
- check for understanding: if you feel like your child is confused or struggling to understand what you are saying you should ask them to repeat what you have said. If they won’t be able to it means that your message was too complicated for them
- make priority the conversation with your child: your dishes, your book or people around can wait for you. Your child does not have the notion yet and you should give them your undivided attention
Try and tell them you love them as many times a day as you can, give them cuddles, tell them how proud of them you are, tell them they have done such an amazing job with toys or puzzles or whatever activity they done, tell them they are such good little ones and they make you happy and you will see the change in them
Their smile and sense of joy are priceless