The Rules of Parent Child Communication: Toddlers & Preschoolers

Parent child communication is the most important component of any family relationship. More so with kids. We pass on our values to our kids through communication only.

Communication may be ‘verbal’ or ‘nonverbal’. Sometimes ‘nonverbal’ communication has a more powerful impact than ‘verbal’ communication. ‘Non-verbal’ communication includes all kinds of emotional expressions, actions, body language, meaningless words or even being silent.

Over 3 centuries ago, Isaac Newton has come up with his third law of motion:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This law also applies to communication. If we communicate something positive, it brings back something positive to us. Similarly, if we communicate something negative, it brings back something negative to us.

Parent child communication
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Kids can sense the underlying emotion and message of any communication, and they follow Newton’s third law religiously. They react with the same emotions. So they can’t be blamed for any negative reaction. You must have noticed that sometimes kids easily agree to what we say but some other times they don’t. Why does that happen?

In the first case, we unconsciously use some effective communication techniques, and in the second case, we do just the opposite. We can choose to be in harmony with the kids by learning effective parent child communication. Intrigued? Here are a few practical tips and secrets.

Encourage And Praise

If your child doesn’t listen to you, praise him for anything you find good about him and he’ll listen attentively. Few words of appreciation and praise get results where criticism and ridicule fail. If you praise him for the good things he does, he is more likely to do good things again.

You can maximize the power of praise by learning how to praise and encourage a child. But remember! everything has a limit. Over praising a child might do more harm than good. A revolutionary study teaches praise the child for his efforts not for his intelligence or talents.

Must read: 10 Ways to Spoil Your Child Rotten

Be A Good Listener

Children have lots of things to talk about. All they want is an interesting listener, so that they can pour out all they have in their little hearts. This satisfies their sense of importance as well and certainly improves the parent child relationship. Talking is fun for children and parents need to listen to them. Yes, it needs lots of parental involvement.

Parents listening to their kids are the first and most important part of parent and child communication.

If child doesn’t get enough opportunity to speak out his emotions and little experiences with his parents, the distance between parents and children keeps on increasing … and then parents complain of misbehavior.

Do parents listen to their children? Unfortunately, not always. Listening is the most basic communication skills, yet most parents never do it. They are busy preaching their kids and telling them to do this or that. This brings a complete communication breakdown between parents and kids.

Use Constructive Criticism

Use only healthy criticism
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You think you are improving kids by finding their faults and criticizing them. But do they really improve by our doing this? No one likes to be criticized including kids. Rather criticism hurts ego and arouses resentment. Nothing kills enthusiasm as quickly as criticism.

If you still find need to find faults in your child, tweak your words a little and convert your criticism into constructive criticism. Criticizing in a constructive manner improves child behavior. There are lots of ways to do that.

Must read: Criticism vs Child Discipline: What’s the Difference?

Do Not Argue With Your Children

When we argue with someone, we directly attack his ego, self-esteem, and sense of pride. No one likes it. Every argument involves sharp criticism, which triggers hatred and resentment. Even if you think you have won the argument, you actually lose, because you have lost all prospects to have a good relationship with that person ever in the future. Every argument increases the distance between two persons.

If you win an argument, you lose a friend.

When we argue with our kids, we might complain, condemn, ridicule, scold, shout, humiliate and insult them. This makes the argument ugly and filthy. Does this correct the child’s behavior which triggered the argument? No way! The child will be more adamant than ever before. Result? Things get messed up more than before. So, why argue with him?

Parent Child Communication: Toddlers Need a Special Approach

Talking to toddlers is different from talking to older kids in many ways. Toddlers’ mind is not as developed as that of older kids. They have a limited understanding of language and society. This is why when talking to your little pea, you should:

  1. Control your anger and emotions;
  2. Do not shout on your kid;
  3. Be kind and understanding;
  4. Come up with alternatives and compromises;
  5. Stay consistent and not let the kid throw tantrums.

What are your secrets of parent child communication helping to maintain harmony in the family? Share your expertise!

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