Developing Good Communication with your Child

Parental guidance

When children are upset or emotionally out of sorts, it’s not the time to argue with them. When they scream or yell or throw things around, it’s not time to explain to them about the rules. At such a time, they are shutting themselves off as their emotions are completely out of control. It is definitely not the time to lecture or explain the rules or expect any apologies or demand an apology for their bad behaviour. Anything you might say would not really be heard or understood properly. The child is so overwhelmed with by their feelings that their emotional state is on overload.

Information is not understood or observed properly. It’s only when things have returned to normal that reminders of family rules and expectations can be explained or re enforced. A child needs to be attentive and calm to understand and process information correctly. This should be done in a loving and understanding manner. Parents need to hold back from jumping in too quickly.

The best way to teach children is to listen to them.

Helping our children through angry, sad or difficult moments can be difficult to manage as a parent, and some parental guidance is needed.

It’s important to establish good everyday words of communication that are spoken without judgemental or shaming words that can so easily crush a child’s esteem.  Often we as parents don’t give our children clear instructions. But we can fall into the trap of using bribery or threatening to punish or compromise a situation, simply to bring about a child’s compliance with what they have been asked to do.

Below is a list of some words and phrases that parents often use to get their child to do what’s been asked of them

“Stop whining and crying like a baby…

I’ve had it with you.  Do you want to go to your room?…

If you finish all your vegies, you can …..

OK do that again and you will be very sorry….

You’re causing me to get angry. (tone of voice)….

It’s not a big deal, you will get over it in time…

Oh, just stop doing that…

You have to do it, because I said so…

You’re whining again…

You’ll get something special if you finish all your dinner…

See how your sister is behaving ?  Why can’t you do that?…

No means no because I said so…

OK, forget what I said, we’ll do it your way or

We will do it next time… “

All of these behavioural communication expressions have very confusing messages attached to them.

Children learn very quickly that you will eventually ‘give in” if they persist long enough or that sometimes you are harder on them than their sibling.

They learn that…

you don’t listen

you change your mind and they are never quite sure what they can get away with or…

after the count of 3 you won’t really do anything

you cave in easily

you are always watching and judging them

they always feel critiqued

they think that they always misbehaving

Children feel so overwhelmed by rules and regulations that are always changing and not followed through on. Parents’ mixed messages are confusing to them and they can become confused and irritable and sometimes angry out of frustration.

All communication with your child needs to be simple, unambiguous, encouraging and positive.