Nothing compares to the mother-child connection. That is why mothers must develop open communication with children before they start to explore the world outside of their homes.
As it’s impossible for moms to keep their children close to them always, they can build a bond that is based on honesty and love. Mom of two and entrepreneur Milena Djankovic shares some tips on fostering strong communication with young children.
Articulate feelings, instructions, and affirmations clearly.
Consistency is key when it comes to building strong communication with kids. For children to open up, moms should speak to them with positive and empowering words that they can emulate such as “please,” “thank you,” “good job,” and even “sorry.” Children learn to speak to others respectfully when they hear such words used at home.
When it comes to children articulating their feelings, teaching them to describe their emotions is one way to encourage sincerity. Moreover, instead of just being angry or affectionate, parents should also tell their children what they are feeling and the reason behind it, notes Milena Djankovic.
It’s not always about words.
Moms with toddlers know this to be true– actions speak louder than words. While it’s important to speak clearly to their children, parents lead and communicate with their actions, too. For example, telling them to pick up their toys after playtime might not be enough. Showing them how to do it properly will help them remember what their parents are asking them to do. Instead of parents just telling their kids to share their food or toys with others, they can set examples of generosity at home that their children can see. Showing kids how to do things right is always an effective way to teach as Milena Djankovic has learned in her motherhood journey.
Practice active listening.
This communication exercise ensures that both parties understand each other. One way to be an active listener is to mirror what the other person is saying. Mirroring is useful when talking to toddlers, especially when they are feeling a bit exasperated about something. Repeating what they are saying will assure them that someone is on their side. In the same way, parents can also ask their children to repeat what they have heard to know if they understood their words clearly. Another aspect of active listening involves letting the child finish speaking before giving opinions or instructions. Milena Djankovic shares that while this doesn’t always mean agreement, hearing what the other person has to say will send the message to the kids that they are acknowledged.
Building an open and strong communication with a child takes effort. It can get challenging at times since it can entail changing communication habits that children have been used to but are not effective. However, once parents and children get used to communicating positively and honestly, their bond will be stronger. The family will be able to discuss