We take it for granted, but our kids really do see the world differently than we do.
So when my three year old announces that she was a little chicky hatching from a shell, she saw the white blanket with gray stripes as a cracking egg.
And when she told me she wanted me to cook her egg in her oven, she really meant skillet. Because we talk so much about not touching the oven because it’s hot, she thought her baby cast iron skillet was an oven.
Ok, fair enough.
So learning to view the world in the eyes of your child can help build positive communication in your home.
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Extremely Good Parenting Podcast EP. 002 Show Notes
This is a 10-15 minute “Surviving Parenthood Episode”
- 1:02 My “extremely good” of the week
- 3:34 The story of the gift rock
- 7:26 listening to details.
Listen to the episode to get even more than what’s listed below.[Tweet “It’s not just a rock, it’s part of a mountain #ExtremelyGoodParenting Understand your child better!”]
Easy ways to understand your child better (both verbally & emotionally)
Get down on their level.
When I was three we went to a church with a spiral staircase. The kind with individual steps and gaps in between. I was absolutely sure I would fall through and plummet to my demise.
And for decades that feeling has stuck with me.
It’s the same idea that when you go back to your elementary school as an adult, everything looks so tiny when you remember it feeling so big.
Probe. Ask Meaningful Questions.
Our kids are learning our language. Even though they were born into it, it doesn’t mean they completely understand how to use it. So whether you’re not understanding your child or just interacting with them, ask questions. It both teaches them and helps you understand where their minds are.
If you ask enough questions, and are descriptive enough, there is always a way to work out what a child is saying.
Never assume a child doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
They learn by seeing, hearing, and doing.
And they choose their words carefully.
My three-year-old one time declared that her purple star shirt could only be worn at bedtime. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why she made this edict. Well, you know how long underwear and pajamas many times are waffle knit? That’s why.
She said the shirt was bumpy and “bumpy shirts are only for sleeping in”.
That’s where the probing questions come in very handy. Because she made an intuitive observation. But I didn’t get it until she showed me the correlation.
Time really is longer.
Six months to a two-year-old is like 8 years to a 32-year-old. Big difference, right? So when we talk about dates in the future or ask them to wait a set amount of time, it seems like an eternity. And for them, it’s literally a good chunk of their lives.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!