Good Effective Communicate in children is the foundation for their growth and development. It is effective for their learning, playing and interaction and forming and maintaining relationships.
Good Communication comes with Self Confidence. Confident kids communicate effectively. It is important for kids to realise that communication is not just saying what you say but also how you say it. Communication is also body language and tone of voice.
Children who have difficulty communicating often go on to develop behavioural problems, mainly due to their frustration at not being able to express their needs, participate in social exchange and achieve in education.
Ben is 8 years old who does not like going to school. He is a very quiet boy who is very unhappy. Ben does not have any friends. He is always very sad at school as he gets bullied. He is as a result very grumpy and does not do well in his school. So, what is happening here.
Ben is not confident, has low self-esteem and is not good at communicating assertiveness.
It is important that we help a child like Ben develop these skills. This is how we can do this.
- Build their self-esteem.
Self-esteem is how a child feels about themselves and what they do. A child with low or negative self-esteem will generally think they are not good at things, don’t deserve love or support and that situations will work out badly for them. A solid self-esteem is at the root of a child’s social ability. If a child is not confident, it is hard for them to develop strong social skills. So, it is important to start developing your child’s self-esteem. Self-esteem is also one of the first protective factors against bullying because a child is less likely to be picked on if he/she is confident and in control of themselves.
“Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes in it to drain it dry.” Alvin Price
- Teach your child to be assertive.
Assertiveness involves recognizing and standing up for our own rights, while at the same time recognizing and respecting the rights of others.”
Teaching your kids that it is acceptable to express their thoughts and feelings. They should also realize that it is appropriate to stand up for their rights especially when it comes to bullying, relational aggression and other offensive behaviours. Knowing how to defend themselves and respect others is especially relevant when it comes to bullying.
Lisa M. Schab, LCSW, author of Cool, Calm and Confident said, “Kids who are genuinely confident and sure of themselves don’t need to bully, and, those who are bullied can take better care of themselves.”
Assertiveness works in all situations. It helps kids have healthy relationships and a solid self-esteem.
- Get them to Develop friendships.
Healthy friendships are an important factor when it comes to bullying.
In fact, even just one friend can go a long way in your child being bully-proof. Bullies are less likely to target kids who have friends. It is therefore wise for you to help your child develop friendships, especially at a young age. This involves scheduling time with their friends, getting them involved in outside activities and talking about what constitutes healthy friendships.
- Instill Resilience in Your Child
One of the most enduring and valuable sets of skills that we can Instill in your child is a sense of resilience.
A child will encounter bullying and conflict with others at some point in their life. To teach them how to deal with issues and problems without letting it affect them is a valuable life skill. Resiliency also helps kids counteract the impact of bullying. What’s more, being resilient is an important part of social skills. Kids who are resilient can be honest about their feelings and communicate those to others. It also helps them persevere when being bullied or facing difficulties.
- Teach your child Empathy
Empathy is the ability to imagine how someone else is feeling in a situation and respond with care.
Empathy is vitally important in good communication. It helps us to communicate our ideas in a way that makes sense to others, and it helps us understand others when they communicate with us. It is one of the foundational building blocks of great social interaction and, quite obviously, powerful stuff.
Empathetic kids are usually socially skilled kids. When kids can feel empathy for others, they are in tune with what others are feeling and often can communicate care and concern. To teach your kids empathy, be sure you are modelling the behaviour at home. You can also encourage children to label their own feelings and tell each other how they feel. You can also demonstrate care and concern for others by donating to the poor, volunteering at a food pantry and participating in other charitable actions.
This quote by Ritu Ghatourey, an Indian author sums it up “Empathy is experiencing others feelings and thoughts while remaining objective. It also requires that you are able to communicate to someone your understanding of his/her thoughts and feelings to help them better understand themselves”
- Teach them to Impart respectfulness.
Children should be taught that everyone deserves respect. When they recognize this, they are not only less likely to bully others but also more likely to stand up against bullying behaviour. What’s more, kids need to realize that if their friends are not treating them with respect, then their friends are bullies. Stress to your child that everyone deserves respect, including them. They should not maintain relationships with people who are not respectful.
- Help them Practice problem solving.
The most crucial element of social skills is a child’s ability to solve problems in a healthy way. To do this requires that your children know how to identify their feelings and manage their emotions. When these two characteristics are not present, kids can have trouble relating to self and others. You as a parent should give your child tools for solving conflicts such as learning to collaborate and to anticipate consequences.