Published On: Thu, Mar 19th, 2015

“I Love That Too”! Why you NEED to fake it with the kids while they are young

Danielle Mantakoul

Danielle Mantakoul

BA of Ed Early Childhood and Editor at Mummy Weekly
She's described as one of the most engaging & dynamic speakers in the early childhood industry today, now having educated hundreds of thousands of parents & teachers. She has lectured for organisations such as KU Children’s Services, Only About Children, Qantas, National Australia Bank, Child Protection Australia, Goodstart and hundreds of council & private centres. She also developed and ran the popular parenting series for the Australian Financial Review.
Danielle Mantakoul

i love what you love1While we as parents understand that the relationship we have with our children changes as they get older, we all want to believe that the lines of communication will stay open, and that we can rely on our children as they grow to bring to us any problems they can’t resolve or that simply concern them.

To give us the best chance of this happening, we need to be setting the stage for this openness when they are young, and while love, understanding and all that good stuff contributes to this, it’s what I call the “I love what you love” element that truly drives this home.

Put simply, it’s letting your child know that the things that bring them the most joy in their young lives, also bring us joy and are of great interest to us also, even if they’re not. The term “fake it” comes to mind here, and while I am not one that sits comfortably with telling kids fibs, I do believe it is in my child’s best interest to have someone on tap that they can share this interest with, and when they are little, that tends to be you.

If your child is a Thomas the Tank fan, the last thing you want to say is that you don’t like Thomas! This can be easily interpreted by young children as you not liking something in them. As our kids grow older of course they develop more of an understanding here of the different interests people have, and that even it your mum doesn’t like soccer, it’s not personal. For a young child however, it’s VERY personal.

For my kids, it’s currently Minecraft, and while this love may fade, I shall fully embrace this love with them until they move on. My recent purchase of a Minecraft cow keychain speaks volumes to them about how interested I am in what’s happening in their young lives and what’s important to them. This understanding then bleeds into all other areas. Got a problem at school… mum will be interested… I want to be a chef… mum will be interested… I am not sure about this dress, mum will be interested.

Sow the seeds of an open communication now by showing your kids how interested you are in their lives. The big message you will be consistently sharing with your kids without having to say it is “I am interested in everything about you”, and by starting young, you’re helping to imprint this on their little brains making the chances for future open communication greater.

By Danielle Mantakoul
Copyright 2015
www.mummyweekly.com.au

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