The basis for the tips below is ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’. It’s hard to imagine many adults thriving in an environment of highly emotional communication, as it is so easy to interpret other people’s tone and words as a reflection on our own self-worth. Take a few minutes to remember how it was when you were young; what did you like/ not like in people’s communication with you? Children, like most people, respond well to kindness and positive, clear communication.
What to model
- Watch your tone of voice and the words you use. Avoid shouting or overreacting. To communicate positively with your child, be at eye-level and speak calmly and clearly.
- Inspire much more often than criticise. It can be so easy for us to pick up on what needs improving in our child rather than appreciating what’s already there.
- Beware of labeling a child’s behaviour – reckless, lazy, clumsy. Try to speak positively.
- Showing pleasure when you see them, reminding them regularly how much you love them and so on. It’s all about helping them feel good about themselves and they will most likely interact the same with others. Let them hear you speak well about them to others sometimes.
- Be a good listener – not easy to give a child time when you are time pressured but vital to development of their communication skills. You may have to set aside time to talk and listen to each other. Let your child finish talking before you talk. Feed back to your child what you have heard them say to check you have heard correctly. Look out for facial or body clues to how your child is feeling when telling you something.
- Talk about your own feelings sometimes and let them see that although you may, for example, feel angry, it doesn’t mean you will act with anger.
- Speak in clear, good English that your child will understand.
- If there is a problem, work together to resolve it.
At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Centre, we pride ourselves in providing a safe, nurturing, supportive, stimulating and fun environment for children to explore and discover the world and to grow and express themselves to their full potential.