Turn off the TV or radio. Don’t answer the phone. Give your child all of your attention. Take a quiet moment to talk to your child. Ask your child questions about her day, who she saw, what she did in school. Listen closely to her answers.
When your child talks, let her know you’re listening by asking questions about what she is saying. Or repeat something she said to be sure you heard it right. If your child doesn’t like to talk, just play and spend time doing something she likes to do.
Try not to "correct" her feelings or words, even if you don’t agree with her. Wait. Try to understand first. Ask your child to say more about events that make her feel sad, scared, angry, or hurt. Try to find out why she feels the way she does. Let her know that these feelings are OK to have.
Quiet time to talk and listen to your child can get you into the habit of coming together, just you and your child. Good habits can be hard to break. These activities will help your child to:
This activity is not about material "things" that your child may want. Instead, it’s trying to help your child feel at ease with her need for love and affection.
This activity uses poetry as a way to talk to your child about her emotional needs. The poem describes positive and loving ways of parenting. It tells adults to think about what they do and say through the eyes of a child. The poem gives children the OK to think about what they need, and to tell their parents about those needs.
Your child will be more aware of what she is doing and will be better able to get her feelings across if you talk to her while she’s doing an activity.
It’s not easy to talk about how you feel. Many people find it easier to sing, rap, draw, or write about their feelings because they don’t have to really tell someone what’s going on inside. Acting feelings out can also make it easier to let others know how you feel. This activity gives children lots of safe, healthy, and creative ways to share their hopes, fears, and feelings.
If your child says or draws things that bother you, try to understand, first. Take time to think about how you feel before saying anything to your child. If you need to, ask a trusted friend, a spiritual advisor, or a counselor for advice or guidance on what to say or do. Then, you may want to talk to your child about what’s bothering you.