How Should Communication Language Be With Your Children?
For constructive communication, first of all, our language of communication must be constructive. Therefore, our topic this week is on the language of communication.
As we said last week, the tips that we will share with you today will perhaps be read like short articles for each item. However, these tips are the most highlighted, focused and deeply meaningful items in thousands of books on child development that you will read recently. Therefore, you should read each of them by digesting and thinking about what you have done on these issues and what you can do afterwards; maybe it will be very useful for you to take small notes.
What should be the language of communication with children?
Keep it simple. Say what you have to say in a short and easy-to-understand way.
Use positive language. Try suggesting walking instead of saying “running”. Use positive, not negative, sentences.
Use courtesy words like “please”, “thank you”, “sorry” often.
Avoid generalizations and labels that disparage your child when you are angry or ask him not to do something. “You’re so messy, you never focus. You are too lazy” etc. Labeling will not lead your child to be better in any way, and may even lead to negative behaviors being taken for granted. Instead, you can talk about a certain behavior / event. “I observe as if you are distracted. We can get much better results when we can focus in our games. If you want, let’s try this game a little later, this time with more focus.” or “Your room is very messy. It is very important that we collect your stuff so that we can play new games. Come on, tidy up your room, then let’s play a game together”.
While generalizations and labeling bring positive aspects to the fore, if they are excessive, they can also produce negative results. For example, “you are very smart, very smart; my child is always successful, always a winner” etc. Avoid overgeneralizations. Such generalizations can create the feeling that your expectations of them are always high, and your child may become afraid of making mistakes or failing. However, mistakes and failures are also a natural part of the learning process. Instead, use more specific forms of praise by stating what you appreciate. “You used colors very well; when you were careful you could do it in a very short time; it was very good” or “the more you practice, the better you do; it was a really nice project” etc.
Do not name or make fun of gestures that will show that you do not take him seriously, especially in problematic situations. “Water-eyed, mischievous” etc. These can make your child feel worthless. In the same way, ignoring the subject, trying to change it, or acting insensitive by being silent can also make you feel that you do not value it. Make time for him when he needs you and be open to communication.
Ask questions that will open the door to more effective communication rather than questions with yes/no answers. Listen to your child with interest. Gather information about your child’s life outside of you (for example, which students and teachers are in your class, what they do in branch classes, etc.) and keep clues that will enable you to have more in-depth knowledge of these issues in your questions. For example, “There are two Ardas in your class; Do you think the two Ardas look alike? Which aspects are similar and which aspects do not? etc. Show your understanding by confirming what he says during breaks or by reflecting on what he says to you in different ways to your child.
Avoid giving orders, threatening and directing. Try to reach a solution by communicating as openly as possible, offering solutions, and allowing your child to take responsibility. Remember, the threat, while giving a message of not being accepted, can also lead your child to resist and test you by not liking it.