National Communicate with Your Kids Day: How to improve communication with kids

For the children to understand themselves and interact with the ever-changing world around them, they need a holistic approach and environment that nurtures their social, emotional, physical, mental, and intellectual growth collectively which will eventually aid in their overall well-being. Since humans are social beings, communication is an integral part of a child’s development. Primary Caregivers, teachers, and peers who are able to better communicate with children from a young age, enable an environment of trust, openness, and safety. Children’s ability to communicate is crucial to their academic success, social development, and personal growth. (Also read: How to strike up better conversations with your children; expert tips )

When parents have open, honest communication with kids, it aids in the kids’ understanding of their environment and forming relationships with others. It also fosters their capacity for problem-solving and self-expression through language. Parents have a large influence on the communication skills of their children as well as the magnitude to which their children face developmental issues while growing holistically. This influence should not go undermined.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Ajay Gupta, Founder & CEO, Bachpan Play School and AHPS & Co-Founder, Rishihood University, explained the need for better parent-child communication and how can parents foster that.

Holistic development:

When we talk about a child’s “holistic development”, we refer to the child’s growth in all areas—physical, cognitive, emotional, and social. It is a dynamic procedure where one’s health, well-being, and success in life are all considered and combined. It is an approach that views a child’s growth and development as a series of interrelated facets, rather than seeing it as a series of isolated stages. The aim of holistic development is to guarantee that the person grows and develops in totality.

The need for better parent-child communication:

Children who can express themselves clearly and effectively have greater opportunities to form friendships, work together productively, and boost their sense of self-worth and confidence. Children get to learn empathy and emotional regulation by talking about their feelings. Children’s ability to express themselves and receive and process information is a crucial component of their success in the classroom as well. Effective parent-child communication is the key to achieving the aim of holistic development. Its role in all the above and many other aspects is indispensable.

How can parents foster better communication with their kids?

As was previously noted, parent-child communication is crucial in helping children develop in a holistic manner. A few examples of how this can be fostered are given below.

  • Give your child the gift of active listening by modelling it for them.
  • Don’t look away from your youngster during communication, and maintain proper eye contact.
  • Boost your child’s confidence and praise your child when he/she does something kind.
  • Spend quality time with your child by doing things your child likes and making him/her familiar with new activities.
  • Instead of presuming that your child is aware of your love and concern, convey it to your child from time to time. This will help prevent negative feelings.
  • Communicate your expectations to your child to instil in him or her a strong sense of self.
  • Avoid asking your kid too many questions while talking, as it may prevent him or her from truly opening up.
  • Employ constructive criticism when interacting with your child and provide a thorough explanation to dispel any possible confusion.
  • Instead of solving your child’s problem, teach your child how to do it without passing any judgement or giving advice (This adds positivity to your relationship).

Talking to HT Lifestyle, Taehreem Ansari, Therapist at The Mood Space, says, “It is important to understand that children who may not learn effective communication skills may experience isolation, which can increase their risk of becoming vulnerable to physical, psychological, and emotional distress. Although every child develops communication skills differently, there are developmental milestones that you may watch for as signs that the child is moving along in the right direction. Remember that a child’s growth includes learning communication, which is crucial, and plays an important role in shaping the kid’s brain and mental patterns that aids in physical, psychological, social, intellectual, and mental development,” she further shared some important benefits of better communication on a child’s holistic development.

1. Enhancement of self-esteem.

2. Identification and communication of one’s needs.

3. Openness to receiving feedback and taking efforts in working towards them.

4. Increased self-confidence using active participation in academics and group spaces.

5. Aid in understanding differences among people and their capabilities.

6. Learning while instilling curiosity and inspiration driven by communication.

7. Building meaningful connections with people around them.

8. Exploration of natural skills and unique needs.

9. Ease in the process of teaching-learning.

10. Renewed focus on reciprocal relationships and partnerships to aid in overall growth.

11. Identification of non-verbal cues in communication (eye contact, body language, expression).

12. Learning and modelling strategies to cope with difficult situations.

13. Improve verbal, and literacy skills and enhance social intelligence.

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