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How to Talk to Children so that they Listen

We are well into the New Year 2019 now. As parents and teachers, one of our New Year purposes should be about spending more time talking to teenagers…– in what way to chat to them so that they pay attention, is what worries us most. This would positively be a stimulating subject for some of us, a non-subject for others, but it is, however, a vital one.

The 21st Century has terrified dares, not the minimum of them being difficult of face to face communication. With the advent of innovative means of technology at our clearance and the explosion of handheld and movable devices for communication on the extensive increase, personal discussions have become rare existences with people resorting to fraud calls, audio and video chats, SMS and Whatsapp messages as well as connectivity on other social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. Even authorized discussions, meetings, seminars, and conferences are now being conducted over Skype and Zoom and other such mediums. Hangouts are one of the ways in which the younger generation actually hangs out! In such a scenario, how do parents and teachers connect with children who are more relaxed with online and effective talks than the ones in real life? No wonder some of us may feel a sense of disconnect with our children when in their physical company.

The answer does not lie in resorting to messaging or video calling our children and learners but in using the following simple tips to connect with the children who mean the most to us.

When talking to children we should:

Smile and welcome our children when we meet them at any period of the day. A smile is a boundless way to connect and emit warmness that encloses and cheers up the children. When we say ‘Hello’, or ‘Good Morning’, we will get a response which can then lead on to the following step as the linking is recognized. Maybe we can even have our own distinct ways of welcoming our children.
Examine main and open ended questions like, ‘So, how was your day?’, ‘What are you thinking about now?’, ‘What is it that I can do for you?’, ‘How have you and your friends been doing in school?’ or even somewhat as simple as, ‘Which subject/time of the day/snack/book/movie do you love the most? And why?’. These can be great dialog starters.
Give adequate time to our child/beginner. Set sidewise time for the chat. Children too, just like us, love to be heard patiently. Let us admire that. Do not attempt to close chats in a urgency. Do not increase your voice. Do not keep watching over their shoulders or here and there while conversation. Look at the child/learner in their eyes, but do not gaze. That would be puzzling. Though, one should be fixed, in a well-mannered and approachable manner, in case the child/learner does not follow the dignity of the talk.
No problem what turn the chat takes, let us not fail to smile at times, nod our head, use suitable, non-threatening physique, and most importantly, attend to them when they talk so that they may return the goodwill when we have something to say.
Speak in a hopeful, inspirational attitude. Instead of asking, ‘Was the test hard to attempt?’, we should instead ask, ‘Which question in the test did you find the most thrilling?’. A speech such as. ’As you haven’t been doing any reading, I don’t think your language will improve!’ could depress children and put them off reading. It would be far superior to say, ‘Over the holidays you could read this book. It seems to be entertaining!’.
There are many more ways to make a chat thrilling for children. Let us begin by using these 5 vital tips which will be most appreciated to us. Let’s begin speaking in the way our offspring would love to listen to us!

Mrs. Hemlata A. Shinde
Lecturer in CO
AISSMS’s Polytechnic, Pune