Communication starts from infancy19 May 2010CHILDWISE
By RUTH LIEW
MANY parents know that punishments and threats do not really work with their young children.
It helps to have realistic expectations of your children. Babies are curious about their world. They use their senses to explore their surroundings. Once they grab something, they will put it in their mouths and then throw it down.
When they are exploring, they are not looking for something specific. They want to find out the limits. This is the best time to commu nicate in the right manner with your baby to help him be cooperative. In every interaction with your baby, show mutual respect.
Before giving your four-month-old baby a bath, take some time to talk to him. Make eye contact and tell him exactly what you are going to do.
Your baby may not know exactly what you are saying but he is learning. Even though he is so young, you must use words that reflect your respect for him, including saying “please” and “thank you.” By doing this, you are acknowledging your child.
Make time to communicate with your baby as this will set him on the right path to learning how to behave. Babies are keen on getting what they want. They are not trying to manipulate their parents. All you have to do is show your baby what he can or cannot do, in the most loving way.
Toddlers are beginning to learn about what will happen if they do something. They may try to do what you do not want them to do. This is their way of testing the limits. They explore cause and effect as part of their growth.
If you are out shopping with your toddler and he screams as you pass by the toy shop, you can say to him: “You are screaming because you want me to take you to the toy shop. I get upset when you scream. You can help me by telling me what you want or show me so that I can understand.”
Your toddler will often act in ways that may suggest he is uncooperative. He is not being naughty or rebellious. It is just his way of asserting his independence. Act firmly but kindly. Your toddler will learn to stay calm and in control by observing and interacting with you. Use positive words to encourage him to pay attention to you.
Knowing that your toddler is active and needs safe boundaries, put him in an environment that caters to his activity level. This way, you do not need to constantly remind him not to do anything dangerous.
Remind your toddler that running and climbing belong to the park. Make time to take him to places where he can be his energetic self.
When he appears to be struggling with a task, ask if you can help instead of taking over from him. Your child would be more willing to cooperate when you seek his permission. He needs to feel in control.
Show him how he can do certain tasks at home, such as helping you prepare the family meal. He can lay the table or help you wash the vegetables.
The more skills your toddler learns, the less he will behave badly. All he needs at this stage is to learn ways of cooperating. Spend more time showing him how to do things rather than telling him what not to do.
The Association of Registered Childcare Providers Malaysia is organising a one-day workshop on May 23 on Effective Parenting Of Young Children And Positive Communication With Young Children. For details, contact Letty (012-228 5086).
Article was taken from ParenThots http://www.parenthots.com/features/Communication-starts-from-infancy.aspx