My Child Is Not Listening! Communication Tips for Mums of Preschoolers
When you talk to your child, does it seem to go in one ear and out the other? You’re not alone! Communicating effectively with toddlers and pre-schoolers can be an uphill battle at times, but it’s worth working on because this can be so helpful when it comes to discipline and good modelling behaviour. Here are a few tips to talk so that your pre-schooler will listen.
Get down to their level.
How would you feel speaking to a giant who towered above you? It might be a bit intimidating! If you want to engage with your little one, squat down so that you can speak eye to eye. Body language is important to start connecting before you even open your mouth.
Keep it simple and direct.
Your pre-schooler’s vocabulary is growing in impressive leaps and bounds, but this doesn’t mean that you can ramble in flowery sentences to get your point across! The longer you make an explanation, the more likely your child is to start tuning you out. Try to keep your main point to a single sentence, and then give your child the chance to respond while she’s still paying attention.
Give choices whenever possible.
At this age, children are enjoying a newfound independence and they want to test these boundaries. If you can give them options that help make them feel in control, you’ll be more likely to get a positive result. When there aren’t any options available, stress the positive outcome.
Avoid using “why” and “you”.
One of the biggest communication mistakes that parents make is interrogating their children, particularly with questions that start with “why.” Oftentimes, kids don’t really know how to answer this. They don’t know “why” they behave a certain way, so you’re not likely to get a straight answer and might end up feeling frustrated. Similarly, it’s better to use counselling techniques and avoid statements that start with “you.” This can put children on the defensive. Instead, try using statements that start with “I feel” or “I would like to get your point across. Qualifications like a diploma of counselling from training.com.au can help you with this aspect of communication.
You’ve asked your son about his day at nursery, only to have him say he did nothing or ignore you completely. Instead of piling on additional questions, just leave it and wait for him to start sharing with you voluntarily. If you spend time together doing an activity that you both enjoy in a relaxed environment, your child is bound to speak to you willingly. You can still enjoy quality time together without chatter.
Of course, every kid is different so you’ll want to fine-tune your approach to get the best results. It’s important to remember that at this age children are just learning how to communicate, so they’ll be watching your interactions with others closely to know how to react! Be patient, and even the most tight-lipped pre-schooler will open up.
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