It may come as a surprise to you, but children are actually very attentive to what they hear, especially when it comes from their parents. Here are five ways to show your understanding when the opportunity presents itself.
1. Give specific praises
A generic praise such as “Very good!” will not allow your child to know precisely what he did well. Instead, use specific phrases like “I like how you took care of your sister when she's alone.” This way, your child will know exactly what you like and he will do it more often.
2. Don't just say “It's ok.”
When your child is emotionally or physically hurt, “It's ok” may not be the best thing to say to comfort them. Children can tell when they are not ok. All they need is for you to understand what they are going through. Try to talk about what they feel and convince them that they are strong enough to overcome it.
3. Let them struggle a bit
As strange as this may sound, helping your children too soon and quickly removing obstacles from their path will keep them dependent on you and may have a negative impact on their self-confidence.
4. Say no to “No!”
“No” is a negative word. Children know it and hear it too often, which decreases its impact day after day. Instead of saying “No running!”, rephrase it without changing the meaning by saying “Walk slowly please.”
5. It's not about the money
A common response parents give when their children keep pestering them to buy something (often unnecessary) is to say, “We don't have enough money to buy this.” A better way to respond is to say, “We are saving money for more important things.” This response will make your child understand that you have control over your money, which you can further reinforce as a example of financial discipline.
Community Ambassador; as someone who was raised in a rather privileged family, I hope to address the inequity in educational outcomes based on the circumstance of birth. Bounced around between Australia and Singapore a fair bit.