Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Communication with Children

    Since all the years of my career were spent with children , communication with children is extremely important. There's no one right or wrong way to talk to children...there are many ways. Each child is different as each adult is unique and so there will automatically be variations. 

    Basically all we have to do is focus attention on the child and make sure that we are speaking to the individual. We are talking to a human being so just because the person happens to be a child doesn't mean we have to change from our normal pattern of speech. Sometimes we see people using exaggerated baby talk to communicate with little kids . It may be cute and fun but the kid doesn't learn much when things are dumbed down.

    One of my favorite short stories was about a boy who went to the store with his Dad to buy a pair of shoes. The clerk talked to the Dad and the Dad relayed the clerk's message to the kid. When the kid answered he spoke to his Dad and his Dad relayed the message to the clerk. It's a well told story and is a good illustration of what not to do. If anybody knows this story , tell me the author and a title as I can not remember them. 

    We don't have to over simplify our speech. Speak to the kid's level. Kids know when we're dumbing things down and we lose some credibility 

     Sometimes we have to catch a kid's attention. Most people yell and they do get the kid's attention but the yelling raises the stress level so, you have the kid's attention but have increased the stress. A stressed conversation usually doesn't go well. Patience helps. Take a deep breath. Lower your voice an octave. It usually catches their attention and doesn't cause any side effects. 

    Talking to kids is sometimes a challenge that increases our stress and things can get complicated in a hurry. I know. I've been there. I just know that if you can discipline yourself the conversation can be beneficial and fun. I like talking to kids on our street. It's always a pleasant part of my day and I usually learn something in a very interesting way.

24 comments:

  1. I agree and it can be quite challenging for some of us. I'm guilty of not always speaking to my own children properly. This applies right across the board and includes peers. We don't always choose the right words. Then again... we are human.

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    1. All of us are challenged in our expressions. Since I'm a little biased I think we have to be particular when it comes to children.

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  2. i think i have the tendency to speak to kids in a 'kid' voice - not the same way i'd address an adult.

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    1. It's a tough call isn't it. We try and make a positive approach. Too many times we follow what we have seen others do.

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  3. Children should definitely be treated as people, not lesser human beings. And 'ver always disliked hearing people talk baby talk to children.

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    1. I don't think the baby talk brings about any benefits...maybe makes Grandma feel better!

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  4. I have a photo gig coming up with young children.....honestly.......THEY SCARE ME ;)

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    1. Well, they'd scare me if I was taking pictures. Good luck on your gig.

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  5. Agree in so many levels with this post. Sometimes, we underestimate kids. But they understand us well enough. So let us have a constant communication with them.

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    1. Kids have a way more language than we give them credit for.
      Thanks for visiting Hiawatha house.

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  6. My Mom actually spoke to each of us as an adult having a conversation - we often sat around the kitchen table and actually conversed - No baby talk in our home - that to me would be like trying to learn another language and for what, so you can try and correct the baby word pattern that you taught your child. I loved that I had parents at home and Dad always had a story to share at the supper table. Hoorah for you Red - I had a teacher something like you a very long time ago. Mr. McWhirter and I always remembered - when he spoke to me, I felt like the most important person in the whole room and I remember the eye contact. Nice Post

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    1. Teachers had to make tie for each kid. I never got there. I was too impatient to wait.

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  7. I am careful when talking to children to speak respectfully, rather than talking down to them. I remember how much I disliked it when I was a kid. Very good things to remember, Red. :-)

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    1. I can remember the ones who spoke appropriately . I remember the odd one who spoke right past me.

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  8. Thanks for this Red. I wondered where folk where going wrong when thet treat me like a five year old.

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    1. This is funny. I had a good long chuckle on this one this morning.

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  9. I agree with you about talking to kids the same as you would an adult. Babytalk was never spoken to my kids... I think I learned early on that a person has to earn respect .... guess I felt that I should respect my kids (and others) as real people and I'd get the same respect back.

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    1. You make an excellent point about respect. It goes both ways.

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  10. I try to 'be there' when I talk to my Grandchildren...I think they really enjoy people who listen and then participated in the answer, not hum humm oh ya....hum

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpres.com

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    1. In participating, you can stimulate more from the kids. They can make great leaps of logic with some of the prompting you give them.

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  11. I think most of us can't help but speak a bit differently to kidlets but I'd rather spend my time listening to them. There's a lot to learn from them.

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    1. Yes, kids have much more than we give them credit for. It's interesting listening to them.

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  12. Very well said Red!
    Speaking to kids in normal everyday language helps them learn language skills and the correct way to pronounce and use words. It may be a cliche, but they truly do learn by example.
    I might add 'baby talk' to babies (not kids)is a natural part of an infant's growth and development. It helps nurture a baby's interest in different sounds and expressions. It allows the baby to pick up on strong sounds like Ma-Ma and Da-Da. There is a place for it at that age.

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  13. I like visiting with my great nieces and nephews..gives you a insight into their world:)

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