How to Really Talk to Children

Ever wondered how Napoleon felt, being shorter than most men around him?  I am sure everyone is intimidated while interacting with people who are taller than them. So, imagine how our tiny kids feel while communicating with us!! 


Most of us do not realize that we appear like giants from our little children’s point of view – literally. Hence, despite our love for them and vice versa, we are not really making it easy for them by talking from “our lofty much-higher height”.  This height disparity doesn’t give you and your child an equal position – hence, the child feels talked down to. How would you feel if you were forever talked at and not talked with?


Good parenting books suggest that the best way to talk to your child and listen to her is to crouch down to her elevation, look into her eyes, and then do the interacting. This will even out the fields, and your child no longer has to tug at your shirt or shout to make her be heard. By becoming less of a giant, you are less daunting and more approachable. In addition to boosting your children’s self esteem, this action would show them that you are actively listening to them. They would realize that what they have to say, is important to you.


There is also the matter of the science of listening. Young children often need you to be close to them when they are trying to talk to you. Standing over a child means that there will be too much distance between you and the child. At the same time, standing and talking gives the impression that the conversation will not last long. You really do not want to give the impression that you are too busy for a decent conversation with your child all the time right?


Of course, this doesn’t meant that you drop down to the floor every time your child has something to say. It is physically straining and sometimes not feasible. But doing this often and especially when it is important to the child, is going to have far more long term benefits than the brief discomfort you would face in the present. Everyone wants to be feel important, so does your child.




Childcare and Education, Volume 2, Penny Tessoni

About the Author :

Vidya, part time writer and dreamer, full time mother passionate about parenting and raising a happy child. Often volatile and expressive, I write my mind on my blog.

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