Effective communication with children is an approach that aims to meet children’s emotional, constructive, and social needs. It allows children to understand play more easily and express their thoughts confidently.
With the development of technology, especially children have started to communicate inappropriately and avoid communication. Children who spend most of their time in front of computers or phones are reducing the time they spend communicating day by day. This situation highlights the importance of effective communication with children. Effective communication with children helps to create a safe and healthy environment, making children feel more comfortable and understood. Through effective communication, children express themselves better, develop problem-solving skills, and are less likely to have difficulty in establishing relationships.
When communicating with children, parents should be careful to communicate healthily. The basis of effective communication with children lies in listening to the child and not speaking accusatory language. When expressing your own feelings, it is important to remember that children also want to be understood, and like all humans, they have feelings. Communication with a child may not always go the way you want it to, as every child’s way of expressing their feelings is very different.
To enable a child to communicate healthily, you should respect their boundaries and make them feel that you want to understand and listen to them. Using destructive language towards children will hinder effective communication. The main thing to be careful about in the communication we establish is to be solution-oriented.
Steps to Communicate Effectively with Children
- Listen to your child: Listen to your child and try to perceive their feelings, and make them feel it.
- Show your child the value you give them: Take your child’s concerns seriously and talk to them about the things they care about.
- Respond to your child appropriately: Your approach to your child should be appropriate for their character. Make sure that the language you use is not destructive or aggressive.
- Approach your child with a positive attitude: Children, like all humans, can make mistakes. If you approach your child with anger when they make a mistake, your child will prefer to hide it from you when they do something wrong.
- Give your child a chance: Let your child speak and express themselves. Do not express your thoughts without listening to them. Give them a chance.
Try to empathize with your child: Try to understand your child’s point of view. If you understand why they are doing what they are doing, it will be easier to communicate effectively with them.
Sentences That Should Not Be Used to Communicate Effectively with Children:
- Negative sentences: “You are bad”, “You always do everything wrong”, “I knew you couldn’t do it.”
- Comparative sentences: “Why can other children do the same thing?” , “You can’t do it just because you are inadequate.”
- Accusatory sentences: “Why did you do that?”, “It’s all your fault.”
- Sarcastic sentences: “You can’t do that.”
- Threatening sentences: “I will punish you if you don’t do this,” “I’ll take your phone away if you don’t do what I say,” “You can’t hang out with your friends if you don’t do what I want.”
These types of negative and rude sentences damage a child’s self-confidence and hinder healthy communication. Instead, positive and understanding language should be used to communicate effectively with children.
Things Not to Do When Communicating with Children
Avoid using imperative sentences when communicating with children. Do not avoid eye contact when communicating with children. Do not be distracted when communicating with children. Do not give the child the feeling that the subject is not important. Do not use gestures and facial expressions that accuse the child when communicating with children.
Do not use threatening body language when communicating with children (e.g. swinging your legs, making negative head movements). Do not threaten to take away something the child loves. Do not make destructive criticisms when communicating with children. Do not use a language that is interrogative when communicating with children. Do not use “You” language when communicating with children. Do not give aggressive reactions when the child gets angry.
The Importance of Gestures and Facial Expressions When Communicating Effectively with Children
Gestures and facial expressions are very important when communicating effectively with children. Children think that emotions and thoughts are expressed more by gestures and facial expressions than by words. In addition, gestures and facial expressions attract the child’s attention and make it easier for them to understand the situation.
When communicating with children, it is important to be aware of the importance of gestures and facial expressions and to use them effectively in the conversation. Effective use of gestures and facial expressions will reduce the time it takes for both sides to understand each other.
Benefits of Communicating Effectively with Children
Creates a safe environment: With effective communication with children, individuals who communicate healthily from childhood onwards easily understand the other person’s feelings and exhibit positive behavior accordingly. Meets the emotional and social needs of the child: Children who are respected and listened to by their parents are more successful in their emotional and social lives. These children are communication-focused and therefore do not dwell on problems and easily find solutions.
Develops the child’s problem-solving, communication, and self-expression skills: Children who grow up in families where effective communication is established do not struggle with expressing themselves, problem-solving, and establishing relationships. Do not have difficulties in teamwork: Children who have grown up without communication problems and have been able to express their thoughts freely are more successful in teamwork compared to other children.