Communicating With Your Pre-schooler – Fostering Effective Communication and Social Skills (Part 2)

From birth, our children are actually ‘hard-wired’ to respond to a smile with positive emotion. It banishes fear or insecurity, and says, ‘I am here for you. Nothing you have to say can change the way I feel about you.’

So remember, whatever you want to say to your child, begin with a smile…

communicating with pre-schoolers

Golden Rule Number Two: Give Your Full Attention to All the Possibilities in a Communication Situation – No Matter What the Distractions.

Confidence is the key to success. By far the best way for a parent to build confidence in a young child is to show them respect, acknowledge that they are important and that what they have to say is important.

We cannot hope to guide or inspire if our children think we do not care – or that their concerns are not important enough to warrant our total attention.

Whether we are communicating face-to-face, or just wish our child to know how we feel about them, focusing on all manner of communication modes is the key to effective inspiration.

Paying Attention

If you are reading or watching TV, stop and make it obvious that you are stopping willingly to talk about something ‘more important’.

Communication is primarily an emotional activity. By stopping what you are doing, and giving your child your full attention, you are giving the right emotional signal to open up strong communication channels.

If it is impossible to talk at the moment your child approaches you, it is important that they understand that it is no reflection on their importance, but simply a result of circumstances. Following up on the conversation as soon as possible afterwards reassures the child, and shows that you respect them and their issues.

communicating with pre-schoolers

The Power of Touch

Young children are very kinesthetic. A touch or a hug can communicate as much positive emotion as any words.

Social signals can be confusing – especially for the young – but the meaning of a touch is generally unambiguous.

A hand laid softly on the arm or the shoulder; the backs of the fingers touching or running softly down the cheek; holding the child’s gaze while taking his head gently in both hands and drawing him towards you until your foreheads meet; a protective hug in times of high emotion – these are almost universally effective gestures of love and support, even in families which do not usually practice them.

One common symptom of dysfunctionality within a family is the inability of family members to display warmth and affection through tactile displays.

Smiling

Most people underestimate the power of a smile. A smile opens up the channels of communication – even with total strangers – because it communicates at a non-conscious level.

From birth, our children are actually ‘hard-wired’ to respond to a smile with positive emotion. It banishes fear or insecurity, and says, ‘I am here for you. Nothing you have to say can change the way I feel about you.’

So remember, whatever you want to say to your child, begin with a smile…

Find ‘Private Time’ for Important Moments

The best time for communication between you and your child is when no one else is around. It means they only have to focus on one person, without splitting their attention.

Only involve other parties if there is some specific reason why they need to be involved. Young children feel less ‘pressured’ one-on-one.

 

To Sum Up:

When you wish to really communicate with your child, or when they really want to communicate with you:

  • Pay attention to the conversation and to your child as an important individual
  • Be free with hugs and other tactile signs of affection
  • Teach yourself to smile
  • Maintain a sense of privacy between you and your child

 

This article is a modified excerpt from the book Pre-school Parenting Secrets – Talking with the Sky. Get the book here.

Suggested Reading: Communicating With Your Pre-schooler – Fostering Effective Communication and Social Skills (Part 1)

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