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This piece of write up is very close to my heart as I love writing about children and laying out my experience with them in words. As an early childhood teacher at a Language School over the past 2 years (including the last one year completely online) I have learnt and identified effective ways to communicate with children where they will be keen to listen to us, stay engaged and excited to interact and hear us talk without being distracted.

Communication is the most effective way towards building connection and it doesn’t matter with whom we communicate regardless of the age and gender factors. That being said, we do need to take cautious effort when we attempt to interact with children because they are quick to mirror, adapt, remember and most importantly to express and “mimic” emotions which they observe in adults. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents and those who’re within their surrounding.

“Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.” ~ Jess Lair

Picture by Connor Baker

During my younger years, since I was 6 years old I was pretty active and talkative often referred to as an Interrogator.

Definition of Interrogator: A person who asks someone closely questions (a lot of) in order to get some information.

I personally found my space when I got to interact with people one on one. I can still vividly remember the questions I used to ask unknown random people at the clinic, restaurant and train station (I was accompanied by my mother to those places) with a curious tone and warm smile, here’re a few:

  • What is your favorite color?
  • Why did you come alone to the clinic?
  • Don’t you have family?
  • I like your dress, who gave it to you?
  • Is that lipstick on you? (My mother never allowed me near her minimalist cosmetic pouch ha ha, I had my eyes set on her classic blue eyeliner and maroonish-red lipstick).

Whenever, I would approach an elderly person, I never got stared at or told to stay away. They were quite warm and used to tell my mother, “She is clever girl, can talk so well or so much” 😁. Unlike these days, where I have witnessed children being treated in an unpleasant manner for approaching to strike a conversation with an unknown person. Well, times aren’t the same anymore, for good or bad is something I can’t put my finger on. But, I will always stand firm on the grounds that children should be treated and spoken to lovingly.

Today as I educate my students, I have truly understood the power of effective communication and I am continuing to thrive, experiment, research, apply and find different ways to continuously improve my communication skills with them because my words matter and above all everything doesn’t have to be about the speaker. This is key!

THE BIG QUESTION

HOW CAN I EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE WITH CHILDREN?

1) First and foremost, it isn’t all about rewards, handling gadgets or threatening and causing children fear in order to grasp their attention. These methods are best to be avoided when our primary goals is to build connection.

2) When we tend to approach and communicate with children, we must STOP what we’re doing all at once and look them in the eye without distractions. Get in front of them if in person, kneel to their level and build eye contact in an affectionate manner. When this is done warmly, children wouldn’t hesitate to get closer to us.

3) If we need them to do something, it is important to monitor our tone. Think of whispering or pairing words with a humorous facial expression. Play around it and they will be right in front of us wanting to know what is coming up next.

4) (BUSY TIME / RUSH HOUR) is when we tend to require more energy. It is a task when it comes to handling children during this time but it is doable by being aware that communication with children doesn’t have to be done seriously.

5) Parents are amazing at multitasking and are always wanting to keep everyone happy which comes with challenges. Let us remind ourselves that we as adults do go through rough days with a roller coaster of feelings and emotions. Which is nothing different from our small, little, sensitive humans 🙂

6) Children do forget and forgive easily but the experience felt and memory of a certain incident will be etched in their mind deeply. To reverse it, is easier said than done hence let’s minimize the damage caused by our words and actions by being aware of it.

7) Let us lead by example with awareness and acceptance that our journey shouldn’t define a child’s reality and world. Above all, it is our responsibility to create a space for them and to communicate and embrace children with love.

It is tough to try and match children’s energy, they can be a handful but isn’t it exciting to wrap ourselves with their cheeky smile, imaginative stories, innocent laughter, pause and expression right before answering a question, wild ideas, honesty and the list goes on.

I love to obtain and hear children’s opinion because I can expect one hundred percent 100% of pure, honest feedback and that is their innate beauty. Let’s treasure their existence, a place where we started our journey, don’t they deserve a pleasant experience, better than ours? They surely do.

Interested to know more about how I am communicating and building connection with students around the world by teaching English Language online ? Sign up for a FREE 30 minutes trial class with me TODAY https://teachertanu.swipepages.page/free-trial-class,and witness it LIVE yourself 😉

Here’s an additional snack time 🍪 read for you to know more about “E-Learning” https://www.teachertanu.com/get-comfortable-to-learn-english-language-online-during-the-times-of-a-pandemic/. Enjoy!

With delight,

TeacherTanu