Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 7 "Listen With Your Heart"

How has turn taking been going? Is it going well or are you finding it to be a bit frustrating? If you are finding it to be difficult, I have another suggestion that might just make this easier. But first we need to think about what a child and adult interaction or "turn taking" might look like. As adults we like to tell our child what to do and then they do it (or at least that's the plan :) We tell our children when to get up; we tell them when to go to bed; we make their meals for them and they eat what we have prepared; we pick out their clothes, etc. Now I am not saying that is a bad thing, that is what we do as parents.

But if we are focusing on "popping" new words with our child, here is my hint, Let the child be the leader. I can imagine that you are being a bit wary right now but let me explain further. When you are taking your 5 or 10 minutes to focus on expanding your child's communication skills and you are doing turn taking, let the child start the turn and let the child pick the activity or toy.

Since this blog is about communication from a child's point of view let's think about the child in this situation. They are picking out a toy and the adult is happy and excited about the fun! They start a turn and the special adult in their lives is happy about it and responds, wow! This is becoming a really great thing for the child. Communication is emotionally based and this child is now emotionally invested, they are having fun with a person that they love AND they are in charge. I would bet that they will search out doing this sort of activity more and more if it feels this good.

All people want to be heard, they want to feel respect, they want to feel like they matter. Adult people and children. How fun to find some activities that we can do that are not demeaning, or based on ordering and demanding results. We are actively engaged with our precious child helping them to learn the joy of communication and we are both having fun. While I wrote that last line a line from a song popped into my head "listen with your heart." And that is exactly what I am getting at, "listen with your heart, lead with your heart" and you and your child will do fantastically.

Have a wonderful week. As always, I would love to hear from you...any questions you might have that are specific to you and your family? Any comments? Just let me know.

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