Learning to communicate better with children can be very beneficial for a lot of reasons. It can build self esteem in the child and the parent is apt to feel more secure about their parenting skills.
Here are some tips to help parents communicate more effectively with their kids.
1. As Dr. Gary Chapman explained in his book, “The Five Love Languages,” people receive and express their love and feelings in different ways. Parents should identify their child’s love language and be conscious of communicating in that primary language, which could be:
a. quality time
b. words of affirmation
d. acts of service
e. physical touch
2. For parents with several children, provide individual time with each child and time for the whole family
a. be consistent and schedule it in if necessary
b. togetherness is more important than the length of time
i. read a story
ii. give the dog a bath
iii. put the groceries away
3. To improve communication, parents can provide 5 words of praise or encouragement for every correction. Repeat them with conviction so your child believes you are true. Praise needs to be specific. This provides more validity to the words.
a) “Way to go with that project!”
b) “Great job, keep up the good work with your exercises!”
c) “That was an excellent presentation! “
d) “That a boy/girl, see I knew you could improve your grades, “
e) “You are a champ making that winning score. I believe in you!”
4. Focus on the child’s strengths and finds ways to promote and encourage those strengths. The goal is to focus on what is successful while minimizing attention to the weaknesses in order to build and develop a strong sense of identity and self-esteem.
5. If there is more than one child in the family, encourage the children to praise and support each other. Get them started practicing by having family moments where they each say something positive and affirming about one another.
While it’s true that everyone has a way of communicating, effective communication with children of any age is doable and requires patience and understanding. For further assistance with learning how to communicate more effectively with kids, parents can contact Practice in Motion Training Institute, Inc. at 1-800-609-1839.
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