I don’t think people realize the effect that words and actions have on the people around us, especially children. The different ways of communication help build their character and mold them into the people they become as adults. The things we deem as small play a major role in the way they interact with the world around them.
Since the beginning of forever, I have seen children saying things they shouldn’t and knowing things that at their age they should know nothing about. I have also seen their parents, mostly young people, laughing about whatever it is they are doing. At the same time I see a large number of young people screaming at their children for repeating things they’ve heard while being in an environment they put them in.
I KNOW you see it just as much as I do! Children singing words to songs they don’t understand but do not know their ABC’s…watching TV and mocking things they see but have no idea what they are REALLY doing. That however would be a whole different subject. In order for children to understand things, just like any other person, it needs to be explained. I could go on and assume that these folks who are lost in the sauce about themselves will have their children lost as well. These would be the parents you see in the store with a child somewhere in vicinity probably yelling “shut the f*ck up” or calling some other child a b*tch (And some think it’s cute) SMH! My mom would say something along the lines of… babies having babies…though that is not always why there is a disconnection. Most people are just not aware of how a mind works. Hell, most have yet to figure out how their own minds work. But I digress. The disconnection is the lack of communication.
There are two types of communication: verbal and nonverbal. Verbal would be our words and nonverbal would be our gestures, body movements, posture and tone of voice. The nonverbal communications tend to be stronger than the verbal ones, as they will be picked up on and could direct or redirect a person’s sense of self worth without them even knowing. Dealing with an infant will show you just how strong it is. If you smile and laugh, they may respond by smiling or laughing as well. If you give them a more serious look, they may return a look of confusion as they would sense a more negative vibe. Dealing with an older child, if when they make a mistake you raise your voice and your body language is tense, they will feel the sense of wrongdoing.
These communications can be taken the wrong way when mixed, such as scolding the child for something you smiled at when they did it the day before. These actions and reactions are stored into their memory and carried throughout their lives.
Growing up, my mother didn’t have to give me many “whoopins”. All she had to do was look at me a certain way and I completely understood what that meant. She would have me in check-mode with a single stare, aka the fear of God. Some children need that hands on discipline, Lord knows some of these children are bad! What we have to remember though, is that they mirror what is around them. If you are cursing and carrying on in their presence, how upset can you really be when they repeat things they hear you say? If you let them watch videos or listen to vulgar music, how upset can you be when they proceed to drop it like it’s hot and know every word to “Beez in the Trap”? When the child makes a mistake such as spilling or dropping something, do you react as if it the complete end of the world? When they make mistakes in school, are you calling them names or making them feel incompetent? These are the things we need to take into consideration. Another side of this I would like to mention is the interactions of children with other children. When they come to realize they are “liking” the opposite sex, they may or may not tell you. Beating them over the head for info will not make them want to open up more! How will your child respond to the things other children of the opposite sex may say to them? Do you tell your child you love them regularly? Do you give them reassuring words? Do you do activities with them? Even if it is something simple, such as taking them grocery shopping with you…
We all know people from childhood that you could tell their parents perhaps did not hug them enough, in some cases their parents hugged them too much LOL! But, there was that girl you knew who “loved” every boy that gave her the time of day. Maybe she did have both parents around, maybe she didn’t. How she interacts with these individuals and what she sees as real meaningful affection could be just her lacking her parent’s communication. The high school hoe, could have easily been headed down a different path with just a few reassuring words from the people who mean the most. Her parents. I do not have children and one day I am hoping to become a wonderful mother. I am not here to judge or say that what you are doing now is wrong. I will say though, there is a way to turn things around if you feel them heading down the wrong path…starting with your communication. Listen to your child when they are speaking and give them your full attention. When they are being animated or speaking with their hands, you can do so as well. They will feel as though you understood whatever it was that they were saying. Figure out your child’s learning style. Are they visual where they need to see pictures? Are they more hands-on where they need to try things themselves or are they more auditory, where repetition in hearing something is helpful? Tell them stories. Ask questions and be very inquisitive about them and their everyday lives. Avoid being so serious even during a serious conversation. The relaxed environment will make them more comfortable. When they do well or achieve things in school (or even at home), reward them. None of this means let your child completely run over you and give them what they want so they will shut up =( . I am almost positive that will not be a pretty picture after years of painting it.
Being a parent is a difficult job. We forget sometimes that mothers and fathers are people too. It is also forgotten that children are people as well. They learn the same way we as adults learn, but at a different level. As they get older their learning style may change, however the ability is there. Treat them as such. Peek their interests and help expand their knowledge. If you control your communication, you will be helping them in more ways than you could ever imagine. Their self-esteem/self-worth will benefit from these things. Believe me…your children will thank Mommy and Daddy for always being there for them, even at their elementary school graduation. With that being said…always, always, always….make sure you watch you language.Still growing and learning,Evey =)
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