According to some reading I have been doing, The American Academy of Paediatrics, has evidence that securely attached young children who are at ease of communicating with their parents, have a more balanced concept of themselves, a better grasp of emotion and a more positive understanding of friendship.
I hear you saying that sounds fine, but how do you actually communicate with your children in a meaningful way.
The first step (and is of huge benefit) is to carve out some time each day where you can talk one-to-one with your child.
Every family is different, so what works in our family, might not work for you. So here are some suggestions – family dinnertime where we all sit down together. Even if that is only a few times during the week is better than not. For others the weekends might work better. For our family, the weekends are the busiest time, so we make the most of week nights.
For other families, after school or when everyone gets home might work best. Afternoon snacks and a healthy drink of milk or water together with a few open-ended questions like –“How did your day go?” “Tell me, what was the highlight of your day?” Be 100 percent focussed on your child and really listen to what your child says. I tend to expect answers and I know that I don’t always get an answer straight away, but later after some processing time, I get the answers.
Every child develops an interest that often develops into a passion. I believe it is our responsibility as parents to nurture and develop that interest. If you know your child and understand how they operate – you can then be in a position to help them when they are going through a difficult patch.
We have had some very enlightening dinnertime discussions. With an advanced vocabulary the correct use of large words has made them fascinating discussions. I have a sense of wonder, how such a little person can use such large words and always correctly.
My daughter wants to teach me how to play something on the computer and she keeps asking. She asked the other day "Are you ever going to let me give you my lesson?" I know we are very well connected, so I am undecided how we will move forward on that one.
Doing things as a family is vital. In our daughters early years we took her to libraries, parks, beaches, forests, weekends away, concerts, dinners, extended family time, staying with grandparents and many activities. This enabled us to have a strong bond. As your child grows we are finding that some of the activities we used to do as a family are changing. Hopefully, we can keep the family bike riding up as that is a great activity we have to go somewhere to enjoy. Living on a steep hill makes what I took for granted as a child, getting on a bike and racing around every day. A very precious time in my life.
Doing the unexpected can turn a simple shopping trip into a treat with a hot chocolate.
Can you guess what the most important thing in all this is?
It is very simply, accepting your child’s own personality. Often they are a lot like yourself, or your partner. We tell our daughter that she has got the best parts of me and the other parts from my husband. Notice I didn’t say bad parts. Let’s say the behaviours! We have lovely challenges as our clever child finds her path in life and I am determined we are going to enjoy it and all have fun!
If you think you have a child that is gifted and gifts come in many ways you might like to join a Forum I have set up. Canterbury Gifted Child Forum https://www.facebook.com/groups/249191915205129/