Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TALK to your Children!!

Just as important as our children communicating with each other (as in the below post) is our ability to communicate well with our children.

Daily “battles” with our children do NOT need to take place. There is no reason this should ever happen so long as we are communicating properly.

Proper communication with our children involves:

1.) Telling our children when we are having a bad day. Don’t just expect them to “read” your mood and behave in a way that will make you happy that day. Tell them how you are feeling and what they could do to make you feel especially happy. This will give them an opportunity to learn to not only comfort others who are feeling sad, but it will show them how to express their own feelings to others (and you) rather than “acting out.” (which will still happen on those days when they are SUPER tired)
On days where I have done this, I begin to see my children as a HUGE blessing instead of a burden to my hard day.
My 4 your old (who is the tender heart in our house) will usually wrap her arms around me and tell me how much she loves me. (Let’s face it, a hug is what most of us usually need on those hard days)
My 5 your old will usually get busy doing the things that he knows I need to get done that day. (The dishes, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming)
It is awesome to see my children love and comfort me when I give them that opportunity by communicating my feelings with them.

2.) If your child is the reason for your bad day, talk to them and let them know that the way they are behaving is making your day a lot harder than it needs to be.
But as you do this, quickly let them know all of the things they have done in the past that HAS made your day better and more enjoyable.
Just today I sat down with my son (who was causing me to go a little insane) and said “You don’t need to act like this. You are too nice and too good to be acting this way.” He totally agreed with me and COMPLETELY changed his attitude toward me and everyone in the house. It was amazing!
(You may even need to point to a particular situation in which they behaved VERY well. This will remind them how behaving well made them happier in the past)

3.) Teach your children to communicate with you.
Sometimes we forget that we are not the only ones who have “bad days.” Our children are learning and growing SO much and it can get overwhelming and very frustrating for them.
Because children don’t always come out and say “hay mom, I really feel like crap today,” we need to recognize mood changes and be sensitive to their needs. A lot of times we just get upset when they are grumpy with us, but then expect them to “understand” when we get grumpy with them.
The double standard doesn’t always fly with kids and it will only cause them to act out even more. They have emotional needs that MUST be recognized and it is our job to teach them how to deal with those emotions.
Some times that may be giving them a hug, rocking them, or (if they are older) taking some one on one time to ask them what you can do to help them feel better.

4.) Before this turns into a novel, I want to mention the last (and I think most important) point in communicating with our children.
Our children learn best how to communicate by watching us communicate with others………….and especially with them.
If you are sarcastic, disrespectful or raise your voice to your children, they notice. They notice and they are learning FROM YOU, how to communicate with not only others, but with you.

The better we are able to communicate with our children, the greater our relationship will be.


Kathleen Mangum said...

Thanks. I wish that someday I'll be as wise as you. I've been having a hard week b/c I can't/won't communicate. Can't really use pregnancy as an excuse for evertying. You inspire me.

Rebecca Hansen said...

good post andrea : )

Lynda said...

Good ideas on communication!