IMPORTANCE OF CONVERSATION WITH CHILDREN
Communication plays a very important role in shaping your child’s personality and your relationship with them. Like Mortimer Adler said “Love without conversation is impossible”.
We need to understand that conversation is different from talking with your child, talking is instructing them on many things throughout the day, like what they should do or what they shouldn’t do. Conversations are meaningful talks where your child and you can take away good feeling which will last for a longer time.
What can a meaningful conversation do?
- Meaningful conversation can strengthen the family bond.
- It can help understand each other better.
- Great amount of Knowledge can be shared through conversation.
- It develops empathy within children.
- It polishes the art of listening.
- Helps develop good communication, vocabulary and language skills.
For having a meaningful conversation it is important to create an environment that is free from judgement. Children often shy away from talking or sharing their story because they fear it might turn into an argument or a cause for punishment.
Where can you have a meaningful conversation?
In the times of one click away technology, where the replies are just one or two words; the true essence of conversation is taken away. Conversations are always better face to face. The opportunities given below can help start conversation with your child:
- During dinner or any other meal of the day where both of you are free.
- During daily travel.
- Before bedtime.
- During your daily walk.
- When you are waiting at school, doctor’s clinic or at a restaurant.
Make sure to stay away from all types of gadgets while having a heart to heart conversation and it requires complete concentration. A message or a mail can wait for 10mins.
How to have a meaningful conversation?
- Acknowledge their disappointment and frustration.
If you notice your child is quieter than usual, try to start a conversation by simply sharing your frustration or disappointment. You can start the sentence like “life is unfair sometimes” or “May be I was too angry earlier”. These acknowledgements will give the child the understanding that it’s completely normal to talk about feeling.
- Show enthusiasm in your child’s interest.
The first basic principle to develop a child to have a conversation is to show interest in whatever they do or say, even if you are not interested. This will help the child to understand that you are all ears where they can speak their mind.
- Share your stories.
Sharing your personal stories or experience of your own life about anxiety, disappointment, and sadness gives the child a sense of security that it is a process of growing up and these feelings are normal to have. Make sure you share how you handled the situation at the time in a controlled manner, even if you did not to give them guidance.
- Try not to criticise harshly.
This is a crucial part of the entire part of developing a conversation with your child. One wrong step here could throw all the steps taken before out of the window. As a parent we must remember the correct way of speaking to our child.If the child has done something incorrect we must address the child in a soft and gentle manner; here anger and disappointment are wrong emotions to express.When you have to criticise the child never compare them with others, show empathy while explaining why it is wrong that they have done. This kind of approach will lead the children to appreciate you and be willing to come to you after facing any problem.
- Talking about others.
Children are the best of observers. When we talk about others we need to be mindful of what we speak. If you are criticising or judging other frequently two things can happen; one they might pick up the habit of criticising others and two they will become anxious to approach you as they have seen you being judgemental.
In the end just like us the child wants to be heard too. Before you know it they will grow up and will be ready to face the world. So give them a lot of hugs, kisses and laughs; get their attention and talk to them whenever possible.