Talking to children is a crucial skill, but often it takes work. You might feel overwhelmed by the task, but if you follow some simple guidelines, you should find that the conversations become less stressful. These guidelines are just a few things to remember when talking to your children.
When talking to your child, the tone of your voice is critical. The style of one’s voice conveys far more information than the words themselves.
As parents, we may be quick to criticize our child’s tone of voice, but how often do we reflect on our own?
Our kids do need us to set limits and stick to them. However, depending on the tone of our voice, they may pay attention to what we’re saying, or they may ignore us entirely—keeping ourselves and what can aid the kids at ease by using a courteous but firm tone.
Our children may not remember exactly what we said to them, especially if it was a correction, but they will never forget how they felt at the time.
Our children’s reactions to our conversations with them will encourage them to confide in us about their concerns, difficulties, and triumphs or make them want to run and hide. The way we speak to our children can have a profound effect on our family dynamic.
How you approach a conversation with a youngster depends significantly on the child’s age. As they grow up, so does your default tone.
For instance, we use more soothing, instructive tones with younger children and more frustrated, stern tones with older ones. That explains why teenagers react so negatively to us.
Today’s youth have access to more data than ever before, but they can only comprehend some of it. Because of their early exposure to information, they may be troubled by questions concerning more delicate topics.
We must have age-appropriate conversations with our kids about everything. We can make almost any concept more digestible for our kids by chopping it up or, to continue the metaphor, pureeing it. Please make sure to distinguish them from information that’s too advanced for their age or unnecessary.
Being of a certain chronological age is one of many factors to consider. The stage of development is equally significant. We need to consider our child’s level of comprehension to move further.
We have a problem if the primary goal of our conversations with our children is for them to hear us. We must give them a chance to be heard.
I want to inquire as to their reaction to our remarks. You can help children feel more confident, secure, and understood by encouraging them to speak their minds and then listen carefully as they do.
It goes both ways. When we pay attention, it sends a message to our kids that they should pay attention to what we have to say. It is much more effective to show people what to do instead of telling them what to do.
Know who you are, understand your child, and speak from experience. The timing of children’s queries always needs to be corrected. How many times have parents been in the checkout line at the supermarket when their child asked, “Where do babies come from?”
Are you the type of parent who would feel humiliated in that situation? If so, plan for when things go difficult.
Learn as much as you can about the topic. Because I’m warning you this will happen, you should be ready with an answer before it does.
Is this child the type who always has something to know more about? Are they expected to inquire about matters independently? Do they keep it all bottled up?
Finding the appropriate approach to communication with them can be significantly aided by the answers to questions like these. Some kids won’t open up unless their parents coax them. Some children need isolation until they are emotionally mature enough to interact with their parents.
Does your kid deal with difficulties like autism? To provide one example? Is this person curious about their neurodiversity or their diagnosis? Before they ask, you should find out how to approach the conversation.
You will be caught off guard if you wait until your children ask about a topic or until you think they are ready to discuss it. Unfortunately, I believe that after the pregnancy phase is over, many parents put an end to their research and preparation.
We can serve our loved ones by doing some preliminary study on potential conversation starters, appropriate timing, relevant new findings in the sciences, etc. Then, when the time comes, we’ll have some idea of what we’re talking about. The idea is to have all the necessary information before needing it.
Aside from eating and sleeping with our children, talking is the one thing we do with them the most. We need to be careful with our words when communicating with them. Planning is always a good idea, no matter where we find ourselves in the parenting process.
Our words will be the ones they hear in their heads from the time we teach them to walk until they find their own.