By Jamie Sullivan
It is very important that we as parents communicate as often as possible with our children. By communicating often, it somehow instills discipline into our child. A major part of discipline is learning how to talk with children. The way you talk to your child teaches him how to talk to others. Generally, parents are the best example a child can follow. Therefore, show good examples to your child. You don't want them to end up picking up all your bad behaviors instead.
Here are some effective tips you can use to talk to your children.
1. Get their attention
Prior to giving them orders or directions, try to 'connect' with them. Look straight into their eyes and let them 'feel' you. Teach them how to focus. For example, "Liza, I need your attention." However, don't over do this as your child might feel that you are controlling them rather than connecting to them..
2. Talk to them the same way you talk to others
You must address your child with their name (or maybe some nicknames that they are used to you calling them). You can start with, "Jason, will you please..." Speak to them the way you want them to speak to you.
3. Be short and straight to the point
Try to be as brief as possible. Don't try to make simple things complicated. The longer you ramble, the more likely your child is to become parent-deaf. Talking too much is a very common mistake by parents when dialoging about a certain issue with their children. It gives them a feeling as though that you're not quite sure what you want to say.
4. Speak according to their understanding level
The younger your child, you would want to speak shorter and simpler sentences to them. Consider their level of understanding. A common error parents make is asking a 4 year old, "Why did you do that just now?" Try instead, "Let's talk about what you just did." Isn't that much better?
5. Cool them down by slow talking them
The louder your child yells, the softer you should respond to them. Not the opposite. I have noticed many parents ended up yelling at their children because of this. Give them breathing space to cool off their tantrums. You can try saying words like, "I understand" or "Can I help?" Sometimes by just being a caring listener will wind down their tantrums. Remember NOT to give them instructions when they are having their tantrums. Otherwise you'll be wasting your effort and time. Nothing sinks in when a child is an emotional wreck.
Repeat what you say again and again. Make it as though its replaying over and over again in their mind. Children need to be told a thousand times on certain things. As your child grows older, reduce the repetition. Preteens regard repetition as nagging.
7. Give them choices
Provide them with alternatives so that they feel you aren't instructing them. For example : "Do you want to bath or have your dinner first?" Actually, you want them to do both, but instead of asking them to bath first, you are now giving them alternatives which will make them happier because it is up to them to make the decision.
Children, are like us adults. We don't' like to be instructed to do things we don't like. But as a parent, you have no choice but to give them instructions. To counter this situation, you can change the way you talk to them to make them feel better and follow what you said.