How careful are you about your choice of words while communicating with your child: –
- Not at all
Let us assume you chose ‘Very’ – this means you tend to choose your words warily, but what about the communication that goes on without words. Nonverbal communication or body language includes eye contact, tone of voice and facial expressions. Are you sure you are scoring 10/10 in all of these parameters?
Why is this important?
Positive nonverbal communication plays a very important role in improving your relationship with your toddler. For instance – When a child is hugged or kissed the affectionate and loving body language tells your child that you want to be close to him or her.
Why intonation Matters?
Your tone is as important as your words when you are addressing your child. This reminds me of one of the best play schools I had the pleasure of visiting. It was a QualityKG accredited play school franchise and they were holding a session on “Healthy interactions with toddlers through the right tone of voice.” The informative QualityKG preschool development program taught me that parents can get more actively engaged with their toddlers, by using different tones to emulate their feelings.
For instance, when a child is struggling with a task, and he or she suddenly says “I did it!” with excitement in their voice, your reaction must be joyful and thrilled, otherwise, you won’t be able to match the tone of your toddler.
I tried this with my son, he had a fight with one of his friends, and when I was trying to talk to him about the fight, I didn’t employ a high pitch or a smile. Instead, I solemnly said “You seem sad, is everything alright?”
Why long conversations are fatal?
When you speak to your children with no sign of stopping, you’ll get tuned out. According to some researches our brain is able to keep only a small amount of information, in the (active) short term memory. This means when you are giving lengthy life lessons to your child he or she is only able to retain 1-2 sentences i.e. 30 seconds worth of your speech.
Why nagging is ineffective?
Being a working mom, I am always in a mad frenzy in the morning. Getting everyone out of the door on time is a great challenge. I never realized that I had the habit of nagging and giving multiple warnings to my son for not getting ready on time. The problem with my approach was that my constant reminders trained him to overlook me and my ineffective nagging.
I’ll wake him up at 6.30.
He’d say – “In a minute mom”
5 minutes later, I go back saying – “You need to wake up now or you won’t be ready on time.”
He’d say – “I am up mom, I am just trying to give my eyes some rest.” (Rest from what? From sleeping 8 hours straight!)
5 minutes later, I try again – “Why haven’t you brushed your teeth yet? You’ll make us all late.”
He’d say – “But mom I am still sleepy, and my eyes feel tired. Can I give them some rest for five more minutes?”
One day my mom witnessed our morning routine (or the lack thereof). She told me that I was putting all the responsibility on myself, when I should be putting it on my son. She said, by doing so, I was giving my son a message that I don’t trust him with the responsibility of getting ready on time, I was also using a negative tone with him, which is creating conflict and resentment in my child.
She gave me a morning mantra and told me to use this really effective line – “We are leaving for your preschool in half an hour. If you are not ready by them, then you’ll be explaining to your teacher why you are late for school.”
To my surprise and relief this clear and concise expectation, with an equally clear and concise consequence got him up and ready on time.
In the end:
Me and my son are getting to school and work on time; I am able to put my trust in his ability to handle our morning routine. I am also making use of the pearls of wisdom I got from the QualityKG workshop. So far, mornings are looking good, and the evenings aren’t bad either!