Talking to Toddlers

One of the ingredients of a successful, enriching relationship is respect. A lot of that respect in that relationship is felt by the way we communicate with one another. Your relationship with your child (including new-borns, infants, toddlers and grown children) is thankfully, no exception to this. This is another of the aspects of Respectful Parenting as coined by Magda Gerber and brought to us by Janet Lansbury. At the heart of this approach the child is regarded as a Whole Human Being with needs and potential exactly the same as all other fellow human beings of various age groups.

Here are some tips to make your communication clearer, more concise, respectful and one that leads to less frustration with your child. Respectful communication not only gets the job done in the moment but it does so requiring lesser energy to do so. It also leads to stronger bonds between the child and you.

What’s more: Respectful communication is basically saying to the child “I trust you. I trust your abilities to recognise your needs and communicate to them to me. And I am always listening.” It builds skills, confidence, self-regulation and a positive self-concept in children.

It takes a little bit of practice to do this. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. If you decide to follow a certain tip given below and fail to do so in a certain situation, don’t be afraid to go back to your child and admit the fact that you could have responded in a calmer manner. Say you are sorry. After all, children learn the most from people they are around the most.

These tips are also beautifully explained in Janet Lansbury’s book: No Bad Kids. For exploring more of these tips and more beautifully written, helpful material give the book a read.

Here are 3 tips which are actionable and easy to use:

Tip 1: Talk normally – like you would with other whole human beings

Tip 2: Turn ‘no’s into ‘Yes’es

Tip 3: Acknowledge what they are going through

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Aditya MV
Articles: 14

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