Communication plays an important part in our everyday life, and so it’s recommended that parents learn how to communicate with their kids. I agree with you that it’s not always as easy as it may seem, so let’s consider together the following parenting tips and ways of communication with the children, and detect which ones might be the most effective for you.
By yelling or shouting you show your weakness. But kids, especially the smaller ones, react rather to intonation than to what you actually say. So how can you get a kid’s attention without raising your voice? It’s been long known that the only medicine that gives a better effect than yelling does (even if this yelling is well-meant) is… whisper. Yes, that’s right: bend to look into your kid’s eyes and whisper in his ear — very quietly. This takes a lot of nerve but it does give good results.
Because saying the plain “no” is like removing a trigger lock. Blunt refusal can make your kid go hysterical, especially if he is tired or hungry at the moment. You could use “maybe” as a softer alternative — and it will be quite an honest answer too. It’s much better than upsetting your kid with endless no’s. If your kid asks whether you are going to go for a walk now, you can calmly answer with a “maybe” and add a condition, like “If you put your toys away and dress up quickly”.
This method helps motivating your kids to act correspondingly. The next steps are simple: if your kid did put his toys away and dressed up, you go for a walk; in case he didn’t, you don’t. It is very important that you keep your promises. Words like “we’ll see” and “a little later” work just as well.
Yes, sometimes it’s very hard to admit, but you are not infallible; you make mistakes. What can we do? We are just human beings, after all. We can apologize before our relatives, friends, coworkers and believe it, your kids deserve politeness as much as adults do. By being polite to your kid you will teach him to be polite to others. This is the treatment your children must witness every day: a good example forms a future communication pattern. Besides, if you apologize and admit your mistakes, your kids will see that no one in this world is perfect, which is actually true.
A signal that makes a child pause, stop doing what you don’t want him to do, and telling him what he should do instead. If your kid scampers around the house, attempts to reason with him are useless — all you should do is to say “stop” and give instructions: “Sit and put together a jigsaw puzzle/build a castle”. Let your kid know, and agree on that with him, that the “stop” word is effective for everyone and at any circumstances: he stops doing whatever he’s doing at the moment (for example, if he doesn’t play by the rules, if the game becomes dangerous, unpleasant or too noisy). The main thing is not to abuse this method, or it would just stop being effective.
Look into the child’s eyes
We all tend to pay more attention to what others tell us when we look straight at them. When you want to make sure your kid can hear you and actually listens to what you are saying, ask: “Where are your eyes?” A small tip: your voice should be absolutely calm and gentle, smile as you say it, or kids just wouldn’t want to look at you. Who would be happy to talk to a person who’s mad and yelling? And as soon as you have your kid’s attention and his eyes are directed at you, you have a much better chance to be listened to and understood.
Don’t focus on your kid’s mistakes
If your kid makes a mistake, the phrase “That’s ok, there’s nothing awful, we all learn” will be of great help. It will be especially effective to protect your kid from disapproving sidelong glances. After all, we all learn, including those who like to frown upon your mistakes.
Always remind your kid that he can do this or that when he mistrusts his own powers. Failure is nothing but a sign that your kid will reach his goal if he puts a little more effort to it or trains a little bit longer. Tell your child you know he can do it. And don’t forget to disclose a little secret: there were times when many of those things you are so good at now were really hard for you to do.
When your kid asks questions, give him all your attention, look at him and at what’s he doing. When your kid wants to tell you about something, listen to him. Be there for your kid. It means so much for a small person. You kid needs you to really talk to him, not just give short answers like “yes”, “no”, “I don’t know” or “ask someone else”, and don’t try to pretend. Remember that your kid will know at once just how interested you are in a conversation with him.
Tell him your love is forever
It’s no wonder that any place gets noisy and restless when kids are in it. Tantrums happen, sweets get put away, all kinds of entertainment get canceled. But there are things that stay forever, and your love for your kid is one of them. It is extremely important to let your child know about this, especially on the days when something goes wrong, when feelings worn out and your energy is used up. It’s a part of a regular evening ritual — just hug your kid and say “Mommy loves you so much, and she will always love you, no matter what”. Your child needs to know and to hear that your love for him is unconditional and unreserved.
Many things that get us annoyed would hardly be like that if we were able to laugh at them. Nice long laugh is a great reset key or, if you will, a switch-off button.
One of the great things about these simple methods is they will help both your kid and you to better understand each other, to find much in common, to have less conflicts while your child grows up. Another great thing is they are not hard to do at all… well, at any rate, a great deal less hard than trying to settle down a conflict with your kid and make things right.