Owing to the importance of communication, it is key that parents practice the art of communication with their children from the on step and not only when they were adolescents. Communication between adults and children and vice versa should not be taken for granted. Effective communication is important for the development of a person. Moreover, communication is the foundation of all human relationships.
Studies have been made to show how to communicate with children at every stage of their lives. Going through the list, it is clear that this is not novel information because some parents practice it. For them, this will augment their communication skills with their growing children while those who are not familiar with them can pick a queue.
So below is a table of basic communication skills that parents can practice at various stages of their children’s growth.
0 -2 YEARS
- Touch is the first communication art used at this stage.
- Touch and body language are to be used to enhance what is said.
- Respond to baby talk with actual conversation or expressions
- Doing this continually enhances your child’s comprehension and language skills.
3- 5 YEARS
- Try to offer your children as much attention as possible at this age.
- Watch what you say and do around them.
- Help them construct sentences when they find it difficult to do; help them put expressions to their emotions.
- Give them limited choices and simple explanations to the various questions they will ask at this stage.
- Make time to talk to with them.
- Speak to them in a manner that presumes a level of maturity.
- In trying to get information from them, ask direct and specific questions and not wind as that may confuse them.
- Keep talking even when/if they do not talk back. Keep engaging them.
- When they speak, listen to them without contradicting and repeat what you heard in a mature manner.
- Allow them (if they show a good level of maturity) to have some input in family rules. You can also ask for their opinions to know what they think.
- Laugh with your children and admit your mistakes when you are wrong so they pick up that skill too.
12- 18 YEARS
- Talk to your teens and not at them.
- Show respect to their opinions
- Find or create opportunities to talk to them. Such opportunities could be during car rides, television commercials, radio commercials etc.
- Respect your teen’s privacy and keep their confidences.
- Show that you trust your teen and they will in turn encourage them to confide in you.
- Make conscious efforts to do away with bad habits so you can correct them by deed when they pick them up. Make sure the house is free off any habit you do not support or are not proud off.