Talking to Young Children

September 12th, 2011

by Katrina Brooke

Communicating with young children is more than your words.  We communicate with looks – smiles and scowls; with actions – hugs and slaps, and even with silence – warm and cold.

Adults usually communicate well with children when giving directions or explaining common dangers. On the other hand, they often have a hard time communicating when feelings – the child’s or their own – get involved.

We need to show by example how to begin talking and listening with feeling.  It is important to channel words and feelings that will be heard.. but not hurtful.

Good communication is important for now and later.  It helps children to develop self confidence as well as solid relationships with others.  It makes life more pleasant for them and with them.  And it helps them grow into adults who have food feelings about themselves, which they can communicate.

Good communication leads to warm relationships, cooperation and feelings of worth.  Poor communication leads to frustrating relationships, conflict, and feelings of worthlessness.  Learning to be a good communicator is a good investment.

When children know that you accept them just as they are, they are able to grow, change and feel good about themselves.  When children feel good about themselves, they are likely to get along well with others.

Work this week on Accepting children – JUST AS THEY ARE – makes talking with them easier.  Children who feel accepted are more likely to share their feelings as well as their problems.  Then you will feel less in the dark as a parent, relative, friend or teacher.

Both you and the children in your life will be winners.

When Adults: THREATEN    Children Feel: “I’M WORTHLESS.”

COMMAND = “I’M BAD.”

PREACH=”YOU DON’T LIKE ME.”

LECTURE=”I CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT.”

REMEMBER: We can accept children without necessarily approving of their behavior.  For example, we love and accept Sandra, but we don’t accept her behavior when she pinches or hurts others.

http://www.del.wa.gov/publications/development/docs/22-649.pdf  Winning Ways to Talk with Young Children

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