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How to talk to kids?

This is most important aspect of parenting - how to talk to kids?

Dadashri has given following valuable points in communicating with children:

  • As a parent, you should conduct yourself in such a way that she does not detect anger in you. When she sees you angry, she will decide that she can be angrier than you. If you stop getting angry, she will too.
  • Use logical reasons to convince a child instead of using anger and authority. Force may work immediately, but soon they start arguing back. Minds blossom with communication, not with fear.
  • While talking with children, do not use an authoritative tone or force. The way you don’t like bossy manager or colleague, neither do they. If there is disgust on your face when you speak to your child then consider that you will get negative reaction.
  • If they do something wrong, just be brief and tell them, ‘Such behavior does not suit our family.’ Or ‘Think over it, do you think it is appropriate? Or ‘Did you like what happened just now.’ Then wait and let him reply. Always speak calmly and use gentle words. Never use bitter and ugly speech. Use your words sparingly and speak with love and affection. This is the key to effective parent child communication.
  • Children are capable of judging and understanding things. They instinctively know when they do something wrong. But when you begin to criticize them, they will rebel and become indignant.
  • A fair way to how to talk to kids effectively is to allow them to talk about their feelings freely with you - it’s ok to be fearful, sad, confused at times. Feelings are temporary. Start from small talks like when they say ‘my friend teased me today’, don’t jump to a conclusion of whether he was wrong or other person nor give any advice like ‘people will tease only those who get teased easily’. Just make a sad face ‘Oh, dear!’ or sometimes try to ask questions in calm voice going in detail of the situation. Avoid giving any solution or conclusion, let him derive one. Help them grow into a confident person.
  • Stop finding faults in their behavior. It will worsen the situation instead of improving - These words create vibrations reaching the mind of the person you speak to and set things in motion. All of it is scientific - when you speak ‘worthless’, it creates forty times the destruction than word ‘worth’. So always speak positive and encouraging words - instead of saying ‘You are always lazy.’ You could use ‘Hey! You know you are happy when you are active.’ The words you speak install beliefs in their mind, which last for a lifetime. So, when it comes to talking with kids, make sure it’s positive.
  • Speak with respect about your child in front of his friends or any third person.
  • Children are like glass. Handle them with care. They may look fine on the outside, but they break from within.
  • If you need to scold, scold without spoiling your facial expression. Keep your facial expression pleasant and scold. This is one of the easy tips to follow when it comes to how to talk to kids effectively. If your facial expression spoils, it means that you are scolding through the ego. The scolding should be superficial as in a drama.
  • Pure love is unconditional. It sees no fault; no expectation and the love will not increase or decrease. At home, you should create such an atmosphere of love that your children would not like to leave you. Love is more powerful than anger. The world always improves through love. There is no other solution for it.

How should the speech be like?

Speech should have the following four components for it to be effective.

  • It should be truthful (satya)
  • It should be said in a pleasing way (priya). The way we tell it should be acceptable to the other person.
  • It should be helpful (for someone’s good) (hith). It should not be for our selfishness.
  • It should be said with the fewest words possible (mith). We should not speak so much that the other person gets bored.

Talk without Insistence, Expectation, and Prejudice

This is essential when it comes to how to talk to kids effectively. Parents should not insist the child do ‘this’ or ‘that’. Even if you insist, do not expect that he should follow or listen to what you said. You should be ready to accept whatever he does (as a result). When you keep insisting a child, he will ultimately rebel. This is because, when you insist, it means there is ego working behind. Your ego rises first, and it provokes the ego of the child, thus, aggravating the situation.

Speak in such a way that his ego doesn’t arise. You can explain things to the child; you can try to change his understanding and outlook towards life. Cutoff your ego; do not have any prejudice, and convince him with love. Prejudice means that if you have scolded your son yesterday, then it is stored in the mind that ‘He is indeed like this’, ‘He is indeed like that’ and then you go ahead and scold him again. So the poison spreads from this. Hence, no insistence, no expectation and no prejudice are the primary checks the parents need to do before speaking to the child.

Life Principles

If a few principles are woven in worldly life, then there will not be any problem with anyone. The most important principle is, not to speak anything for trivial matters either at home or outside. You can talk only for specific crucial issues that you may think are essential, but even if it is necessary, it should not be said repeatedly.

The paramount issues that need your attention could be, when the child takes non-vegetarian food, alcohol; when they are into an affair; when they do not study, etc. The rest of the issues like when he gets his car hit; incurs a loss; forgets something, etc., are all minor. Parents should remain calm and handle the situation with love and equanimity. If you can accept such issues, children will surely listen to you during important situations. When you keep nagging over every single matter, the power of your words is lost. The dignity and magnificence of parents should be such that your mere presence will turn his mind around without the need for you to say anything.

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