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Respectful Communication
Respectful Communication

Respectful Communication is the corner stone of all successful relationships. It not only builds mutual respect, trust, connection, and nurtures your child’s self-esteem, it also teaches your child how relationships should be and sets the standard for your child’s relationship building efforts. 

The parent/child relationship is our first place for learning how relationships should be. Therefore, when we set the standard for healthy, positive communication now, children develop skills that will help them build healthy relationships throughout their lives. If we parent our children in a respectful manner they will in turn know what respect is, if they know what respect is they will be able to respect us.

So what is the alternative? Fear! If we use fear to parent our children they will know fear, and they will in turn fear us. Fear kills respect; if our children fear us they cannot truly respect us!

What is meant by respect? 

Respect is something learnt through love, trust, patience and receiving . If we don’t feel it, we don’t know it. If we don’t know it, we can’t give it. So when we talk about respectful communication with our children we need to think about what we would find respectful. Would you talk to you parents the way you are talking to your child? How about your friends? How about anyone you were hoping would cooperate with you? Sadly, for most parents the answer to this question is No. I see it everywhere, Orders barked out to children where polite requests would be sufficient, or even when no intervention is needed. 


Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help promote respectful communication between parent and Child. 

Do

1. Be their model of respectful communication – the kind of communication you would welcome from them. 

2. Keep in mind what their communication ability is. 

3. Always use positive communication techniques. Positive Discipline and PET are examples of this. Find out more at www.positivediscipline.com and www.gordontraining.com 

4. Maintain eye contact and lower yourself to your child’s height when communicating with a young child. 

5. Keep instructions simple and specific. 

6. Show interest in their interests when talking with them. 

7. Respect feelings and opinions of children, no matter how young. 

8. Try not to communicate with your child while still angry, wait till both of you are calm and ready for respectful communication. 

Avoid 

1. Criticizing a child.

2. Continuously blaming children. 

3. Being overly judgmental. 

4. Lecturing, ordering and threatening children. 

5. Using or allowing the use of: Sarcasm, anger, putdowns and name calling. 

6. Impatient body language such as foot tapping, folding arms or rolling of eyes.

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