Talking to your Kids

by Melanie Edwards on May 1, 2009 · 7 comments

in Parenting

A few of my co-workers are former teachers. Specifically, they were elementary school teachers, so I often seek their advice on how to teach my daughter certain things and be sure I’ve got her on the right track for when she starts pre-K or school.

One of them said something to me that has stuck with me and randomly pops into my head quite often. She said I should talk to my kid. Which seems pretty obvious – “Of course I talk to my kid!” She said I’d be surprised how many parents she met that didn’t actually talk with their kids and thus, it hindered their kids’ language and vocabulary development.

I’ve thought about this over and over. And like I said, it often pops up in my head – when I’m talking to my daughter, when I get frustrated with her, or just when I’m driving and lost in thought.

Do I really talk to my daughter?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday routines and minor details of our daily tasks, that we can easily forget to actually stop for a second and talk with our kids. And when your kid is a preschooler/toddler and her conversations primarily consist of imaginary friends, thought-up scenarios, or lots of “Why?” questions, it can be really easy to haphazardly listen, let alone talk back.

But, you know what I’ve found? When I actually engage myself in the conversation with her and keep calm, she has some truly wonderful ideas in that little head of hers. She’s an inspiring, creative, inquisitive, and imaginative child. All great qualities that I actually envy.

I don’t want to crush that! I don’t want her to think no one will listen. Or that she shouldn’t be curious and question. Especially since she’s a girl. I want to encourage her to think freely and if that also helps promote the development of her vocabulary, her language skills, and even her reading skills, then even better.

After all, I imagine that once she hits those preteen or teenage years, she won’t WANT to talk to me. I need to appreciate what I have while I still have it.

So, parents, talk to your children. And not in the “Don’t do that!” “Go clean up!” and “I said NO!” way. But, in the actually have a conversation with them way. You’d be amazed to hear what your child might actually have to say.

Join me, won’t you?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen May 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

I talk to my children regularly. I think it’s very important for them to be able to talk about their day, their dreams, their wants and yes…what they would like me to do differently to make things work.

Thanks for your Post I agree that parent’s need to “stop and listen”

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Melanie (Modern Mami) May 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm

@Jen, That’s great of you to allow them to talk about what you can do to improve. Such a great idea.

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Kikolani May 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Although I’m not a parent yet, I’d like to think that regularly talking to your children about the things they want to talk about would lead to better understanding and relationships with them, instead of always talking about whether they’ve done their homework or chores, or fussing about something they’ve done. Plus, it helps parents understand where their child is in life, and reminds them of what it was like to have the mind if a small child, teen, etc. which is almost forgotten in adulthood.

~ Kristi

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Melanie (Modern Mami) May 14, 2009 at 10:36 pm

@Kikolani, Sounds like you’ve got great parenting ideas already!

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My Life Thinking May 15, 2009 at 6:30 pm

You came cross a very important issue for parents to learn how to do it and talk more often with their kids, thanks for the great post!

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Kesha Chisholm November 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

Fantastic piece! Really had me pondering whether or not I truly TALK with my kids. Thanks!

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modernmami November 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Thanks Kesha! Yes, all too often, we talk to our kids, but don’t really TALK. :)

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