A newborn baby can vocalize that they have a need, but it is the parent who has to determine what the need is. After a time the parent comes to recognize what squeal, squeak or facial expression means. Words and actions are used by the parent to communicate back. However, once a child begins to communicate using words there tends to be a loss in the silent communication of interpretation and action by parents. When this happens, words become useless no matter how you phrase them.

The interpretation of what your child is trying to say should go on well into adulthood. A young child may be saying words that can clearly communicate needs and wants, like “I’m hungry” or “I want that”, but a child can’t communicate how their day went until they are older and only then if a parent takes and interest in what they did that day. The action portion takes over to initiate dialogue and that action shows the child that someone is listening and someone is caring.

When your child grows into teenager, he or she may not want you to know how his or her day was, but he or she still wants to know you care and that you understand. Teenage years are a time of learning independence and parents should begin to allow their child to be his or her own person. The action from the parent then becomes being someone to lean on, who may be occasionally gives advice, but more so someone who understands and is always there even if a wrong decision is made.

The Difference Between Hearing and Understanding

Harry Potter is a popular children’s novel that tells a story of the school years of Harry Potter at the Hogwarts School for Wizardry. There are many times the children in the story are too afraid to tell the teachers or adults the truth for fear they will get in trouble or because they don’t think they would understand. Unfortunately, this is how many children in real situations feel, because many adults don’t take the time to understand what a child is saying.

Children can be creative and come up with stories like there are monsters in their closet or under their bed. These thoughts can not be proven, but talking to children about them and showing that there are no monsters there will show the child you care enough to protect them.

When there are difficult situations going on in school for a child, teachers and parents need to listen to a child even when the child has an excuse. Understanding the problems and helping the child to realize the situation with his or her own thoughts is more important then being told how wrong he or she is.

Understanding how a child perceives a situation can be difficult. Parents, usually, have certain expectations of their children and when those aren’t met they want children to understand why they have these expectations. However, finding out the child’s expectations should be more important if parents want open communication with their children.

Being efficient when talking to children means you take the time to understand what your child is saying and then work within your child’s thought process to help him or her achieve success. When a child recognizes that what he or she is saying is being heard and understood the child will not be afraid to ask questions to enable himself or herself to avoid mistakes.

Life long communication requires action, interpretation and words from both parties. Modeling that for your child will build a lasting life long relationship.

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