Remember when we were young? When we cried, they told us to stop crying. When we expressed hatred, they blamed us. When we screamed and rebelled, they either punished or scolded us.
Those battles could have been avoided if our parents had communicated and discussed the issue with us more skillfully.
We, as parents of today, must become more knowledgeable in order to reduce tension with our children, reduce stress on ourselves, and raise children with fewer complexes.
How to talk to children then?
The two parenting experts, Joanna Faber and Julie King. Provide us with very valuable tips on how to talk to children in their book, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. Let’s check them out.
1. Acknowledge their feelings.
We frequently deny children’s feelings, even the silliest and smallest ones, when they express them to us. The denial is received by children as if we are telling them (you are lying) or that they do not have the right to be upset.
This continuous denial, according to the writers, teaches them to ignore their feelings and never trust them again. It also confuses them.
The chat makes a difference when you give importance to your kid’s feelings. Your sympathy and acknowledgment of their feelings will make them tell you everything without you even asking.
Yes, they are children, but we must respect their feelings and give them value, or else they will learn that only our feelings and judgments are the correct ones.
2. Try to show attention
Tip number two on how to talk to children is to try your best to show them that you care. If your kid comes to tell you something, drop what’s in your hand, and listen to them with full focus, even if it’s for a couple of seconds.
I know it’s difficult to maintain focus with our children when they present us with new problems on a daily basis, but it’s worth a shot.
The father used two skills here: acknowledging feelings and listening with focus.
The child, in return, found a solution to his problem on his own and trusted his feelings and his father’s as well.
”It’s much easier to tell your troubles to a parent who is really listening. Sometimes a sympathetic silence is all a child needs.”Joanna Faber and Julie King
3. Do not rush to give advice or to blame:
Even if it is the child’s fault, listen with patience to what they are going to say before interfering. The authors say that most of the time, children will figure out their mistake on their own.
”There’s a lot of help… from a simple “Oh . . . mmm . . .” or “I see.” Words like these, coupled with a caring attitude, are invitations to a child to explore her own thoughts and feelings, and possibly come up with her own solutions”.Joanna Faber and Julie King
4. Do not be afraid to make it worse:
Children might go through heart-breaking events. You should not tell them “it is fine” or ask them to smile and not be sad just to make them feel better or to avoid making it worse. You better acknowledge their feelings.
The father did not scold, blame, or even ask a simple question.
The child says everything when she/he feels the liberty to speak without being judged or blamed.
5. Try your best not to say the word “NO.”
Wait a minute. We’re not done yet. The book has many other techniques you can arm yourself with. Grab yourself a copy and enjoy reading the other skills and stories.