Importance of Talking and Listening to Your Preschooler
Effective open communication is what every parent is looking to establish with their child. The preschool stage is the time when you can lay the foundation for this communicative relationship. Talking to your child and listening to him keenly reinforces that you are really there for him.
Most of the times parents assume that if the kid didn’t listen and didn’t do the assigned task, it’s probably because he did not understand. This can be the base of many parent-child misunderstandings. However, communicating with your child can be fun if the right strategic methods are adopted.
How to Talk and Listen to Preschoolers
1. Avoid interruption
Try not to interrupt when your children are talking. Listen keenly to what they have to say. However, giving them full attention without letting your mind wander can be hard, but not impossible.
2. Seize opportunities
Look for opportunities whenever possible to listen to your children as they talk to you about interesting things that happened in their day.
3. Show interest
Always show interest when your children are talking with you. Your body language and facial expressions should also show you are interested in what they are talking about
If your child faces difficulty remembering details you just told him, you can encourage him to repeat what has been said in his own words. You can also encourage him to make notes.
5. Make plans together
If you are organising a party or an outing, ask your child what he would like to do. This is a great way to listen and share ideas.
6. Discuss just about anything
Talk about birthdays of family, discuss why there is a public holiday announced, talk about seasons – just about anything that can spark a discussion allowing your child to listen and ask questions. Even when you are taking a walk you can discuss anything from street names, signs, what cars passed by, the traffic lights etc.
7. Respond to nonverbal communication
This encourages your child to express his emotions verbally. If your child rolls his eyes, you can tell him that you figured he doesn’t agree. So, the next time he points out by using non-verbal cues that he doesn’t agree with you, you can pick it up and tell him that you got his point.
8. Get used to repetition
Preschoolers keep repeating their sentences so that they get to relive their experiences. Parents need to be patient and still continue encouraging speech, even if they have heard the story a couple of times earlier.
9. Ask questions
Show that you are interested in the conversation with follow-up questions. This will not only help you in knowing what they are interested about, but will also help you understand what they are feeling and thinking about a situation.
Understand and acknowledge what your child is feeling and thinking.
11. Don’t contradict immediately
Even if you don’t agree with what your child is telling you, you might want to choose to correct him slightly later when he has finished telling you what he had to.
12. Discuss and find solutions
If your child has come to you with a problem, use this opportunity to discuss and find a solution to it.
A major part of being a strong communicator is being a good listener. When your child knows that you listen to him when he talks, there are good chances that he will listen to you when you talk to him. Therefore, be the role model that you are and let your kid shine through by becoming the perfect communicator.