Have you ever wondered how communication may reflect an individual’s personality? Have you ever paid close attention to how your child talks with his/her classmates, peers or friends? Have you ever wondered what these communications and the underlying patterns might indicate? Children use communication for social interaction from birth in the form of verbal or non-verbal language.
Children are usually innately motivated and eager to communicate with others to show their emotions, thoughts and experiences. Communication is also used for making others understand about what and how they perceive in the environment and simply how they perceive you. The communication pattern of a child with others helps the parents to get an idea about their behavior with strangers. Teaching the child how to behave with strangers and teaching them about good touch and bad touch is vital to childhood.
If in doubt, you may contact a special educator, a child psychologist or a developmental psychologist. These experts may help your child build appropriate social skills and communication patterns.
The child’s communication with his friends also determines a lot about his/her thinking. The child might communicate more freely because of the comfort and safe space. These communication patterns may reveal the child’s hidden thoughts or perceptions, as well as needs for love, care and support.
Sometimes, the superficial conversations also reveal deep thoughts and any issues your child may be going through, which we specifically refer to as “unconscious” in psychology. This means that you may understand what is going on inside the child’s mind, and which may be causing them distress. But, this takes practice and you may not be sufficiently equipped to handle the situation if you don’t understand the source of stress. (Add)Likewise, healthy interactions also show that your child is experiencing positivity and developing a unique identity for himself/herself.
Perspective-Taking, is an important concept in childhood which involves reasoning about the mental states of others. It is the ability to consider a particular situation from another’s viewpoint. This ability enables pro-social behaviour.
Have you ever thought of someone as “self-centred” or “too emotionally unavailable?” It may be due to problems with perspective taking. When a person has problems with perspective taking, he/she does not understand how other people might be thinking, feeling or experiencing. It is a necessary social skill and fortunately you may instil it in your child from an early age.
Some tips which may help you to instil the important skills in your child are discussed below-
- You can nurture empathy in your child by talking about others’ feelings. For example:Asking the child to place him/her in a situation where someone is hurt or is sad. This will also help them to be more careful and understand how their actions or what they say to other people may affect them.
- You may read books to your child and talk about what the characters might be feeling and why? You may also play with toys using them as characters so that the child may relate better,
- Whenever your child says something, try to help them label their emotions. For example, “Oh, you were feeling angry, that’s why you started shouting at the other child”.
- You may also ask the child to do something for another person. For example, if your child’s friend is upset, you may ask him/her to share a chocolate. This will teach your child that helping others brings joy.
Hence, these are some ways by which you can teach your child good communication and social skills. Observing their communication patterns will help you to know more about their thoughts and perceptions of others and their environment.