Communicating with your child
Communicating with your child
How you communicate with your children is important, especially when they are toddlers. At this age, they are learning to understand the social rules around them and learning to communicate their wants and needs. Its important to should children by demonstrating, modeling, or using a picture of action of the positive behavior you want them to display. Often times, young children display inappropriate behavior because they are learning how to apply the social rules around them. When talking to your child, use language they will understand. They language is developing so it is hard for them to comprehend contraction words like “don’t. Instead of telling your child what not to do, talk to your children in a positive language in the way you want them to behave. Encourage your child when they are displaying positive behavior by using positive descriptive acknowledgement. Enthusiasm and constant encouragement are important in praising your child when he or she is displaying a desired behavior. Children flourish under these and can never get enough.
Here are some examples of how you can change how you communicate with your child to display positive and descriptive acknowledgements.
Avoid saying “Don’t run!”
Instead model walking or say, “use your walking feet please,” “stay close to me,” “please hold mommies hand.” As positive affirmation of good behavior, you can follow up with “You are so friendly to walk beside me and keep me company” or “You are holding my hand. That is so respectful”.
Avoid saying “Don’t touch!”
Instead say, “You can look with your eyes” and when your child is displaying your desired behavior, you can follow up by complimenting your child, “You were really listening; you are looking with your eyes.”
Avoid saying “No yelling!”
In these situations, you can ask your child to use a calm or inside voice, “Please use your inside voice.” You can follow up with praises by saying “Thank you for using your calm voice inside. You look happy.”
Avoid saying “Don’t hit!”
In situations where your child begins to hit, remain calm. In a calming voice, explain to your child to “Use gentle hands; hands are for playing, eating, or hugging.” Positive descriptive acknowledgments include “When you use gentle hands you were being respectful.”
Avoid saying “Stop Whining!”
It is important to acknowledge your child’s emotions and communicate with them during these situations. Ask them to use their calm voice and talk to that we can understand them. Allow yourself the time to understand how your child is feeling and teach them the importance of them communicating. When they are able to calm down and communicate with you, some positive descriptive acknowledgments include “You were talking so clearly. That is so easy to listen to,” “You told me with your words what was wrong. That is helpful,” and “You used your words. How respectful.”
As a parent, I am always seeking to learn how to use positive parenting approaches. I have used these tools with my daughter and it has been helpful to dissuade tantrum, allow her to use her words to communicate with me, and give her that positive acknowledgement when she is displaying positive behavior.