1. The imparting or exchanging of information or news.
2. A letter or message containing such information or new
~Google Dictionary (it really does know everything, huh)
There are a lot of ways to communicate, verbal and non-verbal.
In expanding the definition of communication to be quite broad, parents can appreciate a wide variety of their children's efforts.
Sounds great right? Totally.
Stinky hits his sister. It drives me nuts. I was given some great advice about this the other day, that I have been pondering.
Stinky hitting is his way of communicating something because he has not had the chance to learn skills or impulse control to communicate his needs or feelings in another way. Again sounds really too simple right?
Well maybe this time it is that simple. His sisters irritate him when they take apart his things (that would make me crazy too). At some point he reaches his limit and hits. Talking to him after the fact is great but it is reactive. What I need to do is watch more closely for signs that he is getting frustrated, tired, hungry, or whatever. Help him learn to recognize his feelings and needs and then communicate them in a more appropriate manner. This is labor intensive parenting. But it gets much better results. y
It is important to address this as it happens not after in term of the "next time" approach. When you are all worked up and upset, the last thing you are going to think about is, "hmmm, maybe I should try a different approach", kids are the same way. Once they are involved and upset it is much harder to calm things down again than it is to head it off.
Why better? It respects kids needs. It prevents conflict and teaches kids skills to manage it on their own. Everyone wins. I can go to bed at night knowing that I did the best I could for my kids. The kids don't hit each other (yay!). And they learn new skills that will help them in their lives. Parenting success.
I am not perfect at this. Heck, I am still a beginner. But I am trying. I am learning. I am talking to my kids about my journey as a parent- and listening to their journeys as kids. We have to respect each other and listen.