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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.

Making Reading Interesting

Nowadays many parents are very anxious to see their children be effective readers even before they enter elementary school. They are afraid that their child lose out to others and fall behind in the fast changing pace of education.

To give your child the edge one should start through cultivating the interest in reading in the child while they are young.

Here are tips on how you can make reading more interesting

Tip # 1 Read anything and do it often.

Reading could be done anytime/anywhere throughout the day and not only confined to bedtime stories before they sleep. You can read out snippets from the magazine/newspapers that you subscribe as a change from the usual storybooks. This can help stir their interest in the daily happenings and increase their knowledge in current issues. It also helps you build up a close bond with your child as you are sharing with him/her what is close to your heart.

Tip #2 Do not just read the book from cover to back

Bring the story/article to life. Discuss with you child what the story is talking about. Get him/her to interact with the story by asking inferential questions. Use hand actions to place focus to certain items on the page which you would like to emphasize. You can also add in songs and dance to make the story move lively.

Tip #3 Make reading fun.

Make it a positive and happy activity. Never force your child to sit and read a book if he/she is unwilling. By doing so it will only instill negative thoughts towards the activity and make them shut themselves off from being receptive to the pleasures of knowledge building through reading. If you yourself show that you enjoy reading, your child will slowly develop the same desire and interest too as they love to model and emulate what us, adults, do.