All likeable people behave in certain ways. They literally have a “magnetic” personality drawing others to them. The advantages of being likeable are numerous, including higher grades and income, self-esteem, better health, longer life and happiness and well-being.
4 Ways to Connect & Communicate With Your Toddler
Do you talk to your kids or with them? Do you listen to them and do you actually hear what they are trying to tell you? Does your body language (non-verbal) match what your words (verbal) are communicating? Connecting and bonding with your children will be one of the most valuable gifts and legacies that you can share with them.
If you are like most parents and caring adults, your main objective is to raise competent, well-adjusted children who become self-reliant and emotionally healthy adults. I would like to invite you to read, ponder and think how you can apply these four parts of communicating with young children today
1. Connect with them by saying their name
Before giving directions or asking them to do a task, make sure they are even on the same wave-length as you are. Squat down so you are looking at them and can engage their eyes on you instead of their toys. You may need to announce; “Emmie, I need your ears to hear what I am going to say.” “Jeffrey, I need your eyes to see what I want you to see.” As parents we also found it helpful to touch their upper arm when we needed their full attention. In return, they knew that when they touched our upper arm, they had something important to say.
2. Say what you want in short sentences, not long lectures
Be very specific in what you want. The more parents ramble and justify their position the more the kids become overwhelmed, confused and eager to say no. “I want the toys in the box now.” If it seems like they are going to argue, just repeat “Toys-box-now.” If your child can’t repeat back what you want done, it was too long and confusing.
3. When-then not If
This is the difference between a reward and a bribe. When is a measurable goal; “when you put your shoes on, then we will leave for the store and the park.” You both know if the shoes are on or off and that it is his job, there is nothing to debate, argue or throw a tantrum over. When and then implies that you expect obedience and compliance with the request.
However, you start a sentence with “If” then there is room for negotiation, whining and begging. Saying “if you put your shoes on we can go to the park after shopping” implies that he has a choice.
It is important that children know that they have some choices in life, but not everything is a choice or worthy of a decision. Sometimes, they just do what we say because we are the parent and make decisions that are in their best interest and best for the family.
Which leads us to the last and most important part of being a parent, helping the children we love and care for to be independent self-reliant individuals?
4. Help them to help themselves.
Of course it is easier and faster for us, as adults, to do things ourselves. We can zip the zipper and be on our way much quicker than we can take the time to show her one more time how to fit the zipper tab over the two sides. But this is a disservice and a discouragement to the child.
When we encourage them to learn new tasks and celebrate their capabilities that support transfers to every aspect of life. The accomplishment of a small thing today will lead to more successes every day. As they see us model making mistakes and self-correcting or adjusting our goals in life, they see that it is okay to not be perfect. The joy of knowing that you are loved unconditionally builds a foundation of confidence and self-esteem.
The more you do for your children the less time you have to do things with them. Connect and communicate your love, support and joy by building pleasant memories and strong life skills.
- Have you heard yourself saying to your toddler; “Here, just let me do it. It will be faster?”
- If your toddler wants to help, will you allow him to assist you?
- Are you aware of the natural stages of growth in small children?
- Would you like to learn more about tips and techniques to bond with your child?
- If so, then claim your free report at http://www.askauntieartichoke.com
Judy Helm Wright aka “Auntie Artichoke” is an expert parent educator and speaker. If your organization would be interested in hiring Judy as a keynote speaker, please call 406-549-9813 or see http://www.judyhwright.com
If you found this article interesting, you will want to check out the new series of Raising Smart & Kind Kids- Babies, Toddlers and Pre-school. They are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at http://www.ArtichokePress.com
There are a wide variety of emotions that describe our needs, both met and unmet. By learning to name the upset and happy feelings, we are able to more easily communicate. It is also easier for others to help us find solutions. Being authentic with our emotions and needs is part of being a mature adult.
You don’t have to be a perfect parent (as if there ever was one–except my mother-in-law) but you do need to be a present parent. Just being there every single day and being mindful of your children is good enough. Help them to know they are loved unconditionally and teach them values and appropriate behavior and you are doing your job. Guilt free parenting is easier to achieve than you may think. Read these three simple ideas and then do the self-awareness quiz at the end. You will be glad you did.
Why do kids lie to parents, friends and teachers? Why do parents lie to kids, the insurance salesman and others. What is a lie? Learn 21 reasons why we tell lies and what to do about it.
Authentic respect for self and others is a learned behavior. You can help your child develop good manners by setting the example, teaching them basic etiquette, and showing them what to do. This is a life-skill that takes practice as being considerate about the feelings of others.
Success in life, friendship, business, family dynamics and spiritual growth has self-confidence and self-esteem at the foundation. People who have a confidence in their personal worth seem to be magnets for success and happiness everywhere they go.
Hello from beautiful Montana,
When you have a headache do you rub your temples or push hard with your index finger between your eyes? How about when you were upset, did you hold your belly or hug yourself tightly? Do you rub your neck when other people are literally giving you “a pain in the neck?”
If so, you are doing what comes naturally, but has been called the Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT for short. EFT is a soothing technique that releases feelings of stress, anger and buried resentment. Why wouldn’t you want to teach your child to find ways to break negative thought patterns and become calm?
Self Soothing and Self Care
Dr. Terry Brazelton, author of TouchPoints says one of the most important we can teach ourselves and our children is how to take care of yourself when you are upset or stressed. Many adults head for food, alcohol, or drugs when life gets sticky, mainly because we have not developed other coping skills.
We can help children learn techniques of self-soothing so they do not turn to detrimental things like out of control anger, misuse of drugs and alcohol and defiant behavior. No one likes the feeling of being out of control. We can empower our children to take care of their needs with simple strategies that do not depend on outside sources. EFT is a soothing and easy to use technique that releases feelings of stress by rubbing or tapping acupressure points in order to balance your energy.
Why Massage Feels So Good
We are electrical beings with many electromagnetic fields in the body. Our physical body, which we can see and touch and our energy body which we cannot see. Positive and negative thoughts and belief systems have electrical charges. When you are stressed, these electrical charges can get stuck and out of balance.
You may find spots on your body that are tender when you get a massage. Perhaps you didn’t even realize they were sore until they were rubbed. It feels good to release those knots of tension and move your muscles more freely.
Tapping on Emotional Bumps
Tapping while you think about what upsets you helps smooth out those too-much and too-little energy places. When you tap you release the energy so it can flow more smoothly. Breathing and talking about your feelings helps to let them go. Deep breathing goes past the rib cage down into the belly and helps create relaxation.
Emotional Freedom Technique is very effective and can be taught easily to children and will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
I am preparing a special report on using EFT for children, so be sure to check back often to get up to date information that will assist you and your family to gain the necessary skills for a happy life.
Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker
Hello From Montana:
When you speak to your child, can you count more negative or positive words coming out of your mouth? Formal studies with learned psychologists have shown that it takes at least seven positive comments to undo a negative remark. My own informal studies working with parents and families tell me that many of the hurtful things said to children by parents and teachers never go away.
Plant Positive Thoughts in Garden of the Mind
Our subconscious brains are like gardens and what is planted there will multiply and grow in our thoughts and actions. Children internalize the words and actions of adults that they trust and love. If the messages you send through verbal and non verbal (body language) communication are negative or demeaning, the child will lose confidence in herself and her ability to affect her life for the better.
How does the child see herself when she looks through your eyes? If you are giving out labels of incompetence, lazy or stupid, you can count on your child believing your assessment of her as a person. If the message you send through your words, actions and attitudes is mistrust, disappointment, fear, worry or lack of confidence— those negative attitudes will slowly, but surely erode away the self esteem.
Example of Mother and Daughter
In my parenting workshops, I sometimes use the example of a mother and daughter with the daughter holding a piece of paper in her hand. Every time the mother makes a negative remark, demeaning comment or judgment about worth, the daughter tears a piece of the paper off and allows it to fall on the floor. When the mom makes a positive comment, we try to stick a little piece back on, but it frequently doesn’t stick.
It is a powerful visual reminder to parents to correct the behavior but not break the spirit of the child.
What Do You Like About Your Child?
How often do you compliment your child’s character strengths? I challenge you to frequently ask your child “Do you know what I like about you?”
These are the qualities of the heart. The important parts of what makes a good person. These are the values to be celebrated;
- generous attitude
- helpful to others
- kind to animals
Whatever character traits you recognize, encourage your child to look at herself with an optimistic attitude. Help her to affirm all the qualities she has that will help her in her life. Assist the self confidence and self esteem in children and help them to see themselves as empowered to not let outside influences determine their worth. Hopefully, when your child holds up a mirror on her life she will see a strong, vital and worthy woman who is confident in life.
You are invited to http://www.ConfidenceClues.com
for even more information to empower your child to be self confident.
Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker