The appearance of the first words is a preview to more effective communication between the child and the parent. Despite language development, effective communication can still pose difficulties for both parties. How to check if your communication with your child is good and effective? It is worth considering the dialogue with the child. Do you use messages, which – though dictated by care – act as communication locks?

The child is excited and the parent is …

A child who experiences strong emotions, a failure or faces problems can give the impression of needing guidance. Adults often feel obliged to give specific advice, to mobilize (“Nothing happened”), or give an example of good behavior from your own experience (“If I were in your place …”). Sometimes they can overwhelm a number of questions that your child may not be ready for. Although such reactions are a sign of concern, the child may rebel against them or feel even worse. It may even become convinced that its behavior and perception of the situation does not meet parental expectations.

The sight of a worried and suffering child is not easy to bear – therefore, it is a strong temptation to comfort and divert attention. However, if a child is angry at the teacher, regrets about a lost match or sad after losing a beloved toy, attempts to change the topic can only bring a short-term effect. The child will bypass an important lesson of confrontation with his own emotions. Relief will not bring a consolation attempt (“Everything will be fine”), which does not really solve the problem. Nothing gives a rational explanation of the situation, which, however, does not help to cope with emotions.

The world from a 1 m perspective

The adult’s perspective also creates the temptation to judge the situation and behavior of the child – “You will understand when you are older”. Sometimes it is easy to forget that perceiving the world through the eyes of someone measuring a little more than 1 meter differs significantly from the look of an adult person – therefore a good dialogue should assume an attempt to adopt the child’s perspective and enter into his role for a moment.

Good messagesHow to achieve it? How to replace ineffective messages and complement your relationship with your child for a dialogue based on mindfulness and empathy?First of all, it’s worth using techniques related to active listening, which make the interlocutor feel and listen. During the conversation with the child, a good start will be to make eye contact – adjusting the position to the child’s growth should facilitate looking in the eye. To see how important it is for the conversation, just sit on the floor and try to lead a serious conversation with someone standing above us. Nobody would feel comfortable. When you can freely look at the other person, a sense of respect and trust is strengthened. Your child will certainly feel engaged when you express interest, following the story – asking about some aspects, asking specific questions and encouraging to develop threads (“How do you think, how did this happen?”, “Will you tell me more about this?”) .Paraphrase – the queen of careful listeningIt is worth repeating in brief the statement of the child, making sure that it was well understood – “So you say that …” – this will avoid misunderstandings. An important element of the dialogue with the child is to reflect his feelings – naming emotions that are associated with the experienced situation and an attempt to describe why the child feels in a certain way (“Are you disappointed, because Kasia did not invite you to the party?”). Help in naming feelings will positively influence the development of the child’s emotional dictionary, thanks to which it will gradually “tame” your emotions. Such a tool will be especially useful when it will experience strong and sometimes difficult emotions. It will help the child to open himself to further dialogue and can be a great introduction to understanding the behavior of oneself and others – to develop emotional intelligence.Using of the above-mentioned techniques requires from parents a lot of courage and confidence that the child is competent enough to solve their problems and that he has the right to experience all kinds of emotions – also those that seem too difficult for a child’s age. However, the reward for the effort is priceless – agreement in relation to the child and mutual openness.


Mindfulness is the most important thing

Messages directed to the child shape its development. What counts is awareness and mindfulness, but it is also worth remembering that, as toxicology says – the dose determines the harmfulness of the substance. So, there are no occasional cases of so-called language of non-acceptance treat as a parental failure. A single situation will not immediately mean that the child will have problems with self-assessment or difficulties at school. However, it is worth carefully analyzing the approach to conversations with the youngest. That this building a good agreement will become a standard of everyday communication. In this way, the conversation will become more satisfying for both sides.