Communicating with Grown-ups


Preschoolers use their growing vocabularies and communication skills to express feelings, ideas and curiosity about the world around them

'No' and 'why' become common words for young preschoolers. Saying 'no' is a way preschoolers claim their space. Saying 'why' is a wish to understand the things around them. 'Why' is also a word preschoolers use to question authority. 

Trying out following methods might help in communicating better with them.

a) Give full possible attention 
Even a quick but focused connection can fulfil your child's need for communication. For eg: If the child says 'Play with me' and your time is not available, then You could say, 'I had a hard day at work today. I need three minutes to change. Then I can play with you'. Remember pre-schoolers appreciate your honesty.

b) Be aware of your tone. 
Because preschoolers are new to sentence-making, they might have a heightened awareness of your tone and body language.

c) Offer limited choices.
Preschoolers gain a sense of control by making their own decisions. You might say, 'Do you want to get dressed before or after breakfast today?'

d) Don't end your sentence with 'OK' unless you are ready for your child to say 'No'. 
Asking your child if an activity is OK can lead to a lengthy discussion and even a power struggle.


Generally it is observed that school going kids tend to start opinionating about their parents as they are exposed to comparative statements about the parents of their classmates. Such opinion could be positive, humble or even negative and rebellious. 

As school-age kids spend more time away from home, they often develop new patterns of speaking based on what their friends are saying or what they hear on television.

School-age kids can become private about their thoughts as they observe lot of things around them. They tend to get into an introspective mode at times and behave like a person wanting to be alone and secluded. 

Your responses to such kids may shape them positively :

a) Find time to talk with the kid. 
As the kid may have many new things to be told and it expects you to be the 1st listener, you must lend your attention in full.

b) Speak to your school-age child in a mature way.
School-age kids want their 'bigness' to be acknowledged. They might be offended if they feel they are being spoken to like babies (even if they happen to be acting like them). You might say, 'I expect you to do your homework. What time would you like to do it?' instead of 'How many times do I have to tell you to do your homework?'

c) Listen - without contradicting your child.
Instead of saying, 'That's ridiculous!', you might simply say, 'Hmm' or 'really?'. Then ask specific questions based on the situation your child has described. 

d) Laugh a little and admit your mistakes.
At times, humour is the best way to resolve a dispute, react to an upset, or make a request of your school-age child. You can also ask your child for help in figuring out what to do. Kids love to hear parents admit that they were wrong. You can say, 'Am I doing it wrongly? Should we try to figure it out a different way?'


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