TWIS Parent Corner
The Chinese New Year holiday is such a special time of the year that helps bring family together. As a parent, it can be a good opportunity to spend quality time with your child and maintain a good connection with them through effective communication.
The ability to communicate effectively is an important skill in today's world. The way your child speaks and listens makes a big difference to their chance of success from a very early age. Help them learn to express themselves fluently and with confidence. Find ways to communicate with your child about different things including your family traditions, books that you have read or your child has read, share stories with each other, play board games and allow your child to teach you games as well and listen attentively when your child shares ideas and stories.
Here are some of the benefits of encouraging our children to be vocal about their thoughts and ideas:
提高自尊心 Increase self-esteem
Families practicing effective communication and encouraging children to openly discuss their needs and wants makes a child believe that their feelings and thoughts matter, in turn increasing their self-esteem. Children with low self-esteem often struggle with communication, making it difficult to develop strong relationships, further lowering their self-confidence.
Improve problem solving abilities
Some children have difficulty with problem-solving because of underdeveloped communication skills. When a child can communicate about an issue effectively, they are more likely to work through a problem and choose a solution. Consider involving your kids in household decisions to help them learn to navigate problems and solutions.
Decrease problem behaviors
When a child feels recognized they are less likely to act out to get attention. Many motivations associated with problem behavior can be rectified and replaced with effective communication strategies.
建立人际关系 Build relationships
Steady, controlled, effective communication will strengthen relationships which helps children become more self-confident and increase trusts on the people around them.
Keys to Building Effective Communication
It is extremely important for families to make time to communicate. Talk in the car; turn the TV off and eat dinner together; schedule informal or formal family meetings to talk about important issues that affect your family; and talk to your children at bedtime. There are many creative ways to make time to communicate with other family members.
Communicate clearly & directly
Healthy families communicate their thoughts and feelings in a clear and direct manner. This is especially important when attempting to solve problems that arise between family members. Indirect and unclear communication will not only fail to resolve problems but will also contribute to a lack of emotional bonding between family members.
Be a good and active listener
Being an active listener involves trying your best to understand the point of view of the other person. Whether you are listening to a spouse or a child, it is important to pay close attention to their verbal and non-verbal messages. As an active listener, you must acknowledge and respect the other person's perspective.
Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Message
Effective communicators also pay close attention to the non-verbal behaviors of other family members. For example, a child may say something verbally, but their facial expressions or body language may be telling you something completely different. In cases such as these, it is important to find out how the person is really feeling.
Try to keep an open mind and look at situations positively. Encourage your child to communicate and model positive communication in the family.
Have a great holiday and Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Ms. Cherie has been an international school teacher for 17 years. She has worked in the Philippines, Indonesia, China and Russia as a homeroom teacher, grade level head and PYP coordinator. She has a BS in Psychology with emphasis on Education. Cherie is a licensed teacher and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in primary education. She is an IB PYP workshop leader, school visiting team member and reader.