Thursday, July 31, 2014

"I'll Give You Somethin' to Cry ABOUT!"

As corny as some of these sound, the concept makes perfect sense. Part of our interaction with children is to teach by SHOWING them how to effectively communicate as we teach them other life lessons, manners, etc.

We have to start treating them as young "people" because well, they are. 

If we wouldn't allow other adults to speak to us so harshly, why should we do the same to mere children?

Furthermore, the age old adage that "children should be seen, not heard" needs to be put to rest. We teach children the importance of timing and tact, key elements in healthy communication and building healthy relationships, when we allow them to speak their minds and express themselves. This also aids in healthy emotional/psychological development. No one likes to be "shut down" every time they attempt to share how they feel/what they think. 

Of course there will always be exceptions based on specific children and situations but keep this thinking in mind the next time you speak to a child.

Really, taking this approach and working to be patient enough to ask our youth questions about their behavior/feelings helps to improve their comprehension and enables them to be able to think for themselves and adequately convey what they're feeling.

I tell children (and teens) all the time, "use your words" and "I need you to be able to tell me WHY you feel the way you feel or WHY you're behaving in this way".

When I was growing up, "I dunno" was NOT an acceptable answer!

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