Talk is Not Cheap
June 22nd, 2012 by Miss Kristin
“There probably is no more important stimulation than parents talking to their child. The language areas of the brain respond, resulting in superior language skills for a child. Children also need a warm, emotionally supportive environment, which results in more connections in those parts of the brain responsible for developing emotions. The result? Children who are blessed with feelings of security and an emotional well-being that spreads throughout all aspects of their lives” — John Dacey, Co-author of Human Development Across the Lifespan
Set the example
Kids pick up their communication cues from the conversations they hear. I know I’ve talked about this topic before in my Parenting series, but it’s one of those issues that is so so so important! As parents and caregivers, WE set the example of how to speak with others to our kids. So, if your kids hear you demanding help with the groceries in a not-so-beautiful tone to your spouse, they will pick up on and remember that manner of asking/demanding for things they want in the future. So, if your little one approaches you with demands, whining, and nagging, it may be helpful to reflect on the atmosphere of communication you have at home. I’m not pointing fingers here, I promise! I’m just pointing out how kids receive and develop language!
Below are some “talk tips” to keep in mind as you shape the culture of communication in your household:
- Address family members by name
- Speak courteously to each other
- Use the “please” and “thank you” ‘s
- Make eye contact when someone is talking
- Listen attentively to each other by cutting down on the multi-tasking …(at least for just a couple minutes!)
Avoid the “baby talk.”
So we are all on the same page…explaining and reasoning are different. Giving your child an understanding as to why you have family rules helps to reduce frustration and also aids in parent-child partnership. For example, if you tell your child to “clean up her toys” and follow it with a “because I told you so!”, it shuts down the communication between you and your child. One the other hand, if you share “because we have lots of toys all over the ground! …someone could trip and fall if we don’t pick them up!”, it creates opportunities for dialogue & cognitive and emotional understanding.
This may sound silly because clearly you have rapport with your child!!! So, this is just to encourage you to continue building the emotional connection between you and your kids! When it comes to conversation with little ones, some parents tend to have “serious talks” more frequently than they do positive ones. Usually, the focus of the communication is what the child should not do. One thing to keep in mind is that kids develop positive connections by encouragement. So, “serious talks” do have their place, but positive communication about what your children are doing well is not only beneficial to their security, but also fundamental in how they will receive direction from you!
“Take time to talk with your children and share the joys and sorrows you experience. Using techniques of communication and accepting each other’s feelings will build parent-child relationships.”
– Arizona Cooperative Extension FamilyTask Force
What’s the culture of communication in your household? Do you have any “talk tips” to share with us? We’d LOVE to hear!
Posted by Miss Kristin
Bio: My name is Kristin, but most here at SLC call me Miss Kristin :) I have been working at Scottsdale Learning Centers since 2007 and LOVE it. It is such a blessing to be a part of the amazing SLC team in the front office and as a pre-k teacher in Room 11! When I'm not at SLC I volunteer as a leader for junior high girls at my church (I am crazy...I know), and needless to say, I have a passion for kids!