What did you say?



Do you often feel frustrated when you are unable to understand what your toddler is trying to say to you? Does your repeated attempts see your end up with your child screaming or crying?

If you have answered YES to these questions, you fit the category of the majority of parents who are struggling to understand their child.

Here are some tips on how you can put an end to this communication breakdown between parent and child.

#1- Take a moment.

Before you start engaged in the conversation- Take a moment.

Remove all distractions from your surrounding and clear your train of thought. Put the “Pause” button on whatever you are currently doing and redirect your undivided focus onto your child. This would show to your child that you value deeply what she is trying to say and that you are making an attempt to understand their feelings/wants. You would also be more able to read into both visual and verbal signals that your child may be showing while trying to talk to you.

#2Be Positive

Even though you may not be on the best of moods for the day try to act positive and be open to what your child is saying. Children are very sensitive and will reactive to any negative vibes that you emit. I.e.: stern tone, disapproving looks or gestures.

Children are unique individuals, with their own timing of social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and physical growth and development. They are sensitive individuals who are lacking the proper tools to be able to express themselves clearly to us, Adults.

Therefore, as parents and main caregivers, it is our responsibility to provide them with the equipment/environment they need to communicate better with us.

#3- Don’t pre-judge/label your kids

“He is a handful”. How many times have you heard parents mention this sentence? They pass judgment and categories their child and unknowingly their child is becoming their worst nightmare.

With such preset notions parents put themselves into a rut with unending uphill challenges that they have to face throughout parenthood. Negative labels eat at building up self-esteem in a child and a sense of being loved by their parents.

Children learn when they have positive self-esteem and are in an environment where there is mutual respect and cooperation.

As a result, parents should build on opportunities for children to make connections and build on what they know. This way, they will bridge the communication gap that they have with their kids and strengthen the parent-child bond.

Household chores

Many people may be asking what a one year old can be taught to do? At such an age will a toddler be able to follow instructions given?

The answer is Yes’

Even though they may not follow what you want them to do 100% of the time-as most kids do- they are able to follow simple instructions given to them.

At One he has a vocabulary of 20-60 words even though he is only able to verbalize the most 5 to 6 words clearly. [ Mummy, Daddy, Ryan, Ah Ye, Mama & mummum-food]

After his 1st birthday I have introduced him to the toothbrush and am slowly teaching him how to brush his teeth. He is able to grab the toothbrush and try to imitate his brother brushing his teeth.

I feel that he is ‘old enough’ to help out by assisting me with some simple household chores.

Roy is learning to:

  1. Clean up- put back his toys after play
  2. Take out the clothes from the washing machine and put it into the laundry basket for me to hang up.
  3. Take his storybook out from his shelve and bring it me to read for him before bedtime. He also places the storybook back into the cupboard after reading.
  4. Switch off the electronic appliances after use (TV/Radio/VCD player)

Ryan on the other hand has learnt to:

  1. Clean up after playing
  2. Keep his shoes/bag away after returning from school
  3. Put the dishes/cups in the sink after use
  4. Brush his own teeth and do his own toileting

I will be teaching him how to:

  1. Help in folding the clothes ( this is also one of the activities suggested in the Montessori book that I have been reading)
  2. Mentor reading to Roy ( it will help to build up the bond between the brothers and also improve his reading abilities)
  3. Vacuum the floor.

I believe that kids should learn the contribute their part and help in doing household chores from young. This will be good training for them and also teach them basic life skills.

Dominique Goh|Singapore Mom Blogger