Listening to be understood!
Healthy communication is a two-way street – it takes active listening and using the right “language”.
In today’s world of diversity and cultural differences connecting to others can become the deciding factor on whether your child has positive relationships with the people around them.
Research has identified five main ways that we use to connect with one another, called “languages” and once we know how or which way the other person prefers, it becomes simple to decode what they say and convince them to accept what we say.
1. Quality time – when people prefer and see quality time as an expression of caring and connection, they want to feel like they are valued, seen and heard in the time they spend together with the other person. And that may mean leaving technology out of the interaction for the period of time, no distractions from the focus on the person
2. Physical touch – this could be as simple as a pat on the arm, a touch, a hug. Physical touch can feel reassuring and caring to the person, and with some it is the way they connect to others. But it’s also important to remember for others physical touch could be uncomfortable and an invasion of their personal space – causing them to avoid interaction
3. Receiving gifts – a gift for a teenager can be many things, including time spent with them doing something they find meaningful. It can be a small gesture of connection, understanding, or listening to their voice
4. Words of affirmation – it’s always important to let our teens know that they’ve done you proud. It’s good to praise, but the praise should be for them and not for what the outcome, the appearance or the event. And a “proud of you for effort” is always worth it.
5. Acts of service – doing things for others is important, and these acts need to have “meaning” for the person they are being done for. In other words, whether an adult perceives the act as something important or not is irrelevant, as long as your child sees it as something meaningful
Forming healthy and positive connections is so important in the development of children, it helps motivate them, build self-confidence, empathy relationships and succeed in what they choose.
In identifying which “language” our children prefer, we can connect with them in ways that can lead to positive and healthy relationships. It can build trust and a sense of belonging in them, that will allow them to flourish