Communication is two way. You receive information and give away information while trying to talk to others meaningfully. It’s a skill that needs patience.
Communication is both verbal as well as a whole deal of body language. Voice modulation and intonation have different effects on the same set of words too.
As parents, you may need to develop the skills to break down thoughts, involving intellect and emotion, into ways that children can easily comprehend. The ways of the parents are what the children would then model their own communicative ideals on.
Initiate talk and bond with your child
If your child is a pre-schooler, ask a lot of questions about their day. Show interest in their activities and encourage them to speak good sentences. Always wait for your answer without being pushy. Do not give up until you get an answer. Similarly, answer all those questions that are put to you. Do not brush them away. If you are busy, let your kids know about it and get back to them.
Warm up to your child’s friends
Make friends with your children’s friends. Have reasons to sometimes be around them so that they learn to communicate with you as a group. This will help your child talk to you without feeling queer as they grow up and are more tuned to their peers.
Talk about discipline as you would talk to an adult. Negotiate different ways instead of showing authority. Children sometimes come up with their own ideas to discipline themselves. Accept them and let them have a go at it.
Do not burden them with your problems
Let them know of your own differences with people, only if you have been successful at solving it. Do not put your emotional burden on them. Let them know of your struggle so that they can learn from it. However, they should not be treated as a support or shield for you.
Do not let your own anxieties seep into the conversations with your child. Keep an open mind. Let them take important decisions for themselves. You only need to help them out of mistakes, not stop them from making any.
Let them be
Do not brand them as being incapable by helping them too much or by throwing disguised insults at them. ( What will other people think? Your friend got a better score than you? Who is going to marry you? ) Sometimes, it may seem like your kids are not thriving but if they are surviving alright while they are still learning a skill, it should satisfy you enough. Soon they will master everything that is important to them. Trust them.
Psychological punishments are damaging. Avoid them.
The ‘silent treatment’ is a sign of passive aggression and is a poor form of communication. Do not subject your children to it. It can have lasting damages leading to depression, feelings of abandonment and loss of self- worth. You surely can do better than that. Sort it out as you would want it to be sorted out with you.
Children actually love advice if you don’t overdo it. Keep it short keeping an eye for signs that may be causing frustration or boredom. Vague instructions again are not a great way to communicate with young kids. Give definite directions like” Please put the laundry away”, ” Set the table, please” instead of ” why don’t you put the laundry away” or “Would you set the table?”
If your child has special needs, it’s best to educate the other caregivers, family members and friends on how to talk to your child.